As reported earlier, Panasonic's attempt to acquire Sanyo had been stalled due to the objection by Goldman Sachs, but it finally goes through today. The total deal size will be at least 560 bil. yen, or up to 800 bil. yen, depending on the final result of the planned TOB.
Goldman changed their mind to accept the price of 131 yen per share. According to Nikkei, in earlier stage of negotiations, major investors (Goldman, Mitsui Sumitomo Bank, Daiwa SMBC) were asking for more than 200yen, and Panasonic offered 120 yen. When Pana raised the price to 131 yen, both Mitsui Sumitomo and Daiwa accepted, but not Goldman.
Newspapers report that given the overall financial crisis, Goldman decided that it is a better deal to accept it and cash Sanyo out, rather than sitting on it till it dies. Strategically, merger with Pana makes a lot of sense - or at least MORE sense than being held by financial investors at the current structure.
I guess the yen-dollar exchange rate which reached to 87 yen per dollar migh have helped. In dollar terms, capital gains for Goldman probably is not too bad at this moment.
Anyhow, Pana is scheduled to open TOB next February, and hope to complete the acquisition in spring 2009.
So after all, the famously savvy Osaka merchant wins in this battle.
Panasonic is not exactly a cool fashionable brand, but they have a steady strategy and will likely be one of the "remaining" brands at the other end of this consolidation stage in Japanese electronics industry. I wish they started 10 years earlier - I wonder if it is the case of "better late than never", or "too little, too late".