Sanyo Rumored to Exit Handset Business
Sanyo, which is headed for its third straight loss this business year, plans to sell its cellphone operations as part of a new restructuring plan, the Nihon Keizai newspaper reported on Thursday. The business daily said Sanyo, which earlier this year issued $2.6 billion worth of preferred shares on very favourable terms to Goldman Sachs and two other financial institutions to ensure its survival, will also sell its semiconductor division. Sadakazu Shima, a spokesman for the Osaka-based electronics maker, declined to comment on the report.
UPDATE: Sanyo has denied the rumor and will disclose details of its reorganization when it reports first-half earnings on Friday.
In June, Finland’s Nokia scrapped a plan to jointly make mobile phones with Sanyo. The newspaper said Sanyo would look to spin off its cellphone division as early as in the next financial year starting in April and then sell the majority of the new company to a competitor. Continue >>
[ While the Nikkei has a history of breaking the news early, they’re not “always” right. Consider these two points: Sanyo has well-established expertise in GPS (which opened the door for their first DoCoMo handset), as of April 1st 2007 all new mobile phones sold in Japan are federally mandated to include GPS functionality. Also, as they came close to concluding a JV with Nokia early this year — but IP rights were clearly an issue — we suggest a consolidation merger ala NEC/Panasonic/TI would be a much more likely scenario. — Eds]