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US Supply-Chain Software Firm Blue Yonder To Be Acquired By Panasonic For $7.1 Bln

US Supply-Chain Software Firm Blue Yonder To Be Acquired By Panasonic For $7.1 Bln
The United States based supply chain software company Blue Yonder will be acquired by the Japanese electronics firm Panasonic Corp in a deal worth $7.1 billion, the Japanese company said on Friday, This is the largest acquisition of the Japanese company in more than a decade.
Panasonic said that the aim of this acquisition to benefit from the growth in demand from companies for supply chain innovations as the companies’ propensity to withstand disruption in their supply chains is being put to test by the upheaval caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Panasonic was already invested in Blue Yonder through an investment of 86 billion yen ($797 million) last year for a 20 per cent stake in the company. The Japanese company said that it will now acquire the rest of the remaining stocks of the target company from its existing shareholders which includes Blackstone Group Inc and New Mountain Capital.
The acquisition agreement includes Panasonic also acquiring the debt of the target company and the deal pout the market value of Blue Yonder at $8.5 billion, the company said in a press release.
"The need for more intelligent, autonomous and edge-aware supply chains has been dramatically heightened by the Covid-19 pandemic," Panasonic said.
Panasonic said that half of the acquisition will be financed by Panasonic through cash while the remaining half will be funded by a bridge loan which the Japanese company plans to get refinanced with subordinated bonds and other hybrid finance.
Even though the company is better known across the globe for manufacturing of quality consumer electronics and appliances, in recent years Panasonic has changed its business strategy with a much greater focus on building parts and supplying services to other businesses which includes offering its services and abilities for supply of batteries for the United States based electric car maker Tesla Inc.
In May last year, its partnership with Blue Yonder was deepened by the Japanese company as it acquired a seat on the board of the US company through the acquisition of the minority stake of 20 per cent. The main business of Blue Yonder is to aid companies in management of their supply chains through the use of machine learning and helping to connect manufacturing units of companies to their warehouses and retailers and supply chain players.
Walmart Inc, Starbucks Corp and Unilever PLC are among the list of customers of Blue Yonder.
Since spending 800 billion yen to make Sanyo Electric and Panasonic Electric Works wholly owned subsidiaries in 2011, this acquisition of Blue Yonder will be largest acquisition for the Japanese company.  

Christopher J. Mitchell

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