Sanyo to sell battery business to Fujitsu

OSAKA, Oct. 28 Kyodo 




Sanyo Electric Co. said Wednesday it plans to sell parts of its rechargeable battery business to FDK Corp., a Fujitsu Ltd. unit, for 6.4 billion yen to pave the way for an early approval from overseas antitrust authorities for it to become a Panasonic Corp. subsidiary. 


Panasonic's plan to take over Sanyo has been stalled due to delays in obtaining approval from antitrust bodies in the United States and China on concerns over the size of the two firms' combined share of the global nickel-hydrogen battery market. 


The deal has already been approved by the Japan Fair Trade Commission and most recently by the European Commission on condition that Sanyo reduce some of its battery production facilities. 


The Osaka-based manufacturer is expected to sell Sanyo Energy Twicell Co., the only unit that makes nickel metal hydride batteries under the ''eneloop'' brand and other rechargeable batteries for use in computers and game consoles. Sanyo Energy Tottori Co., another unit that makes cylindrical lithium batteries, will also be sold to FDK. 


While handing over the manufacturing of its signature eneloop products to FDK, Sanyo will continue to handle product planning and distribution by purchasing them from the Japanese electronic parts maker. 


The company is anticipating a consolidated loss of 9 billion yen from the sale of the two units but added that the figure has already been incorporated into its latest earnings forecast. 


The planned deal will also not affect operations for nickel metal hydride batteries for use in gas-electric hybrid vehicles. Sanyo currently supplies the batteries to automakers, including for Honda Motor Co.'s Insight hybrid.


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