Panasonic sells Tesla stake for $ 3.6 billion



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  • Panasonic wants to reduce its dependence on Tesla
  • Panasonic seeks to raise funds to invest in growth
  • Sale won’t change relationship – Panasonic spokesperson
  • Panasonic stock closed up 4.9%

TOKYO, June 25 (Reuters) – Panasonic Corp (6752.T) has sold its stake in electric car maker Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) for around 400 billion yen ($ 3.61 billion) during the l ‘fiscal year ended in March, a spokesperson for the Japanese company said. said Friday.

The sale comes as the hair dryer conglomerate seeks to reduce its reliance on Tesla and raise funds to invest in growth.

Panasonic’s battery business is dominated by Elon Musk’s Tesla, but the two companies have at times had strained relations.

Panasonic bought 1.4 million Tesla shares at $ 21.15 each in 2010 for around $ 30 million. The stake was worth $ 730 million at the end of March 2020. Shares have risen nearly seven-fold since then and closed 3.5% higher at $ 679.82 apiece on Thursday.

“The impact of crypto assets may have pushed Tesla’s stock price above its intrinsic value, making it a good time to sell,” said Hideki Yasuda, analyst at the Ace Research Institute .

Musk said in February that his company bought bitcoin and would accept payment in cryptocurrency, a decision he later reversed, and his comments on Twitter are causing the price of those assets to fluctuate.

A Panasonic Corp logo is pictured at the Combined Advanced Technologies Exhibition at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan on October 2, 2017. REUTERS / Toru Hanai / File Photo

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While Panasonic provided financial support to Tesla when it was smaller, the automaker’s expansion means there is no need for capital ties, Yasuda added. Panasonic shares closed 4.9% higher on Friday, the biggest such move since January.

The sale of a stake will not affect the partnership with Tesla, the Panasonic spokesperson said, and was carried out as part of a review of the holdings in accordance with corporate governance guidelines.

The sale comes as the automaker diversifies its own battery supply chain.

Tesla has made deals with South Korea’s LG Energy Solution, a unit of LG Chem (051910.KS) and China’s CATL (300750.SZ), with Reuters reporting the latter is considering a plant in Shanghai near the production base from the automaker.

Panasonic announced earlier this year that it would buy shares in U.S. supply chain software firm Blue Yonder (NWMUTJ.UL), which it does not already own, in a 7.1 billions of dollars. Its biggest such contract in a decade, the award raised eyebrows among analysts who pointed to the company’s uneven track record in mergers and acquisitions.

($ 1 = 110.8700 yen)

Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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