Panasonic Offers Changes in Sanyo Takeover

EU still looking into whether or not to approve the $3.8 billion takeover

To head off concerns about its takeover of struggling smaller rival Sanyo, Panasonic has offered concessions, EU competition officials said on Sept. 10.

The European Commission has extended its probe into the takeover by two weeks to September 29, when it will either approve the 5.5-billion-euro (US$3.8-billion) takeover, with or without conditions, or open a full investigation.

The commission did not indicate the nature or scope of Panasonic's proposals.

Panasonic is cutting 15,000 jobs and closing dozens of plants as it struggles to recover from its first annual loss for six years, blaming weak sales of TVs, digital cameras and other electronic goods during the recession.

The company said last December it was buying Sanyo shares for a maximum value of 800 billion yen (over $8 billion) from Goldman Sachs and Japan's Daiwa Securities and Sumitomo Mitsui.

It had originally aimed to announce the launch of the tender offer by late February, but regulatory issues in a host of countries have dragged on for months.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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