Panasonic Accused Of Trying To Steal Sanyo
Panasonic has been accused of trying to steal a 50.05 per cent stake in Sanyo with several shareholders now claiming that they are set to be “short changed”.
Earlier this month Panasonic proposed to buy a 50.05 per cent stake in Sanyo for around US$1.50 a share as part of a broader $9 billion restructuring plan that would see them owning 100 per cent of the company.
The offer was a 21 per cent premium to Sanyo’s average share price for the month of June 2010.
Shortly after this Sanyo reported a net profit for its fiscal first quarter that was more than double what it had forecast. This has upset shareholders.
Shares in Sanyo rose 26 per cent because of media reports of a pending buyout deal. This resulted in the deal only being worth 8 per cent above the offer price.
Analysts in Japan whose organisations own shares are calling for the deal to be scrapped.
“It’s like someone buying your car knowing that there is a bag of money in the trunk, but hiding the fact so they don’t have to pay you for it,” Benjamin Collett, head of Japanese equities at Louis Capital Markets in Hong Kong told the Wall Street Journal.
“Panasonic couldn’t have waited one more day to get the stock cheaper.” He said.
Panasonic is claiming that the offer price is “reasonable” and that third-party financial advisers determined that it was fair.
The spokesman said that in setting the price, the company used other methods in addition to market-price analysis, such as discounted cash-flow analysis and comparable-company analysis.
A Sanyo spokeswoman said the company got its own valuation report and fairness opinion from Abeam M&A Consulting, of Tokyo.
The WSJ reported that Collett is now recommending his clients buy Sanyo shares at the current 137 yen price and even at 138 yen, the same price as Panasonic’s offer price, based on the view that Panasonic may be forced to raise its bid. He estimates fair value for Sanyo to be above 150 yen a share.