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Panasonic's takeover of Sanyo postponed

PANASONIC Corp is postponing its offer to buy smaller Japanese electronics rival Sanyo Electric Co Ltd citing the lengthy legal process -- delaying a deal that would make the combined entity one of the world's biggest electronics companies.

Panasonic announced in December that it had begun a US$9-billion takeover of Sanyo. The two companies have said that they planned to start the tender offer soon for all shares of Sanyo, with hopes of completing the deal by this month.

But yesterday Panasonic and Sanyo said that preparations to start the tender offer are yet to be completed, and that the timing of the launch will be announced "around late April."

"Pursuant to domestic and foreign competition laws and regulations, all procedures in Japan, the United States, Europe, China and other countries required for the launch of the tender offer are in progress," the two companies said in a joint statement.

The deal would allow Panasonic, which makes Viera TVs and Diga Blu-ray disc players, to take advantage of struggling Sanyo's green businesses in solar panels and rechargeable batteries.

Sanyo, founded by a brother-in-law of Panasonic founder Konosuke Matsushita, is a popular brand but has struggled to keep pace with bigger rivals in Japan's competitive electronics sector.


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