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Is Sanyo selling its mobile business to Kyocera?

Posted: 18 Sep 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mobile phone? Sanyo business? Kyocera buyer?

The question came up again last week in various media outlets in Japan: Is Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd indeed selling its mobile phone business? If so, is Kyocera Corp. the likely buyer?

A Reuters report, quoting "sources close to the matter," said Kyocera is in the final stages of talks to acquire the loss-ridden mobile phone business of Sanyo. The purchase, if it comes through, would reportedly cost Kyocera several hundreds of millions of dollars in a deal that would create the world's seventh-largest cellphone provider.

Business daily Nikkei earlier reported that Kyocera intends to buy Sanyo's cellphone operations for about $435 million.

However, in separate statements, both companies declined to confirm the negotiations. A Kyocera spokeswoman declined to comment whether the company is in negotiations with Sanyo.

Akihiko Oiwa, a Sanyo spokesman, was quoted by The Japan Times as saying, "We haven't decided whether to sell the handset business. We are considering every option to strengthen our mobile-phone business."

But Sanyo did announce Friday that it will offload its entire equity stake in its handset sales subsidiary Telecom Sanyo Co. to Telepark Corp. for $41.7 million, according to The Japan Times.

Japanese media groups last month reported that Sanyo was talking with both Kyocera and Sharp Corp. regarding the sale of its cellphone business.

- Christine Telesforo
EE Times-Asia

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