Panasonic, the world’s largest maker of rechargeable batteries, will spend $9.4 billion to buy out minority shareholders in two subsidiaries specializing, solar cells, electric car batteries and other green technology.
Panasonic, which currently owns 50.5% of Sanyo and 51% of Panasonic Electric Works, said the acquisitions are part of its effort toward becoming the “No. 1 green innovation company in the electronics industry.”
Last year, Panasonic spent $4.6 billion to secure a controlling stake in Sanyo Electric which is among the top lithium-ion battery makers in the world. Panasonic Electric Works makes lighting equipment, sensors and other components.
Panasonic has a joint venture with Toyota Motor Corp. to produce batteries for hybrids and electric vehicles.
Sanyo currently supplies nickel-metal hydride batteries to Honda and Ford for vehicles sold in the North American market and reportedly plans to supply Toyota as well.
Sanyo will also provide its nickel-metal hydride cells for Peugeot 3008 crossover and the Citroen DS5 models which the French carmaker plans to launch in 2011.
The company, which has also agreed on joint lithium-ion battery development with German’s Volkswagen AG, is likely to be expanding partnerships with other automakers.[source: Panasonic via Pure Green Cars]