Matsushita looks to sell JVC to Texas Pacific

OSAKA (Kyodo) Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. is in the final stages of picking U.S. investment fund Texas Pacific Group as the buyer of Victor Co. of Japan, its money-losing subsidiary maker of audiovisual products, sources said Friday.

Matsushita has a 52.4 percent stake in Victor, a pioneer of VHS-format videocassette recorders better known overseas as JVC.

Matsushita, the maker of Panasonic brand products, will try to strike a deal with TPG by the end of this month after having more in-depth talks on the conditions for selling its JVC shares, including the price and the fund’s envisioned restructuring plan, the sources said.

If realized, this will be the first major acquisition of a Japanese consumer electronics maker by a foreign investment fund.

TPG wants to take control of JVC by obtaining its shares through a tender offer or other methods if the fund reaches an accord with Matsushita, which is headquartered in Kadoma, Osaka Prefecture.

The fund plans to raise the corporate value of JVC by making it focus on profitable business areas and increase management efficiency, the sources said.

On March 9, Matsushita carried out bidding for JVC in which TPG and U.S. investment fund Cerberus Capital Management took part. Matsushita is believed to have chosen TPG over Cerberus for its higher proposed purchase price.

Matsushita has decided to sell JVC due to its continued poor earnings results and some overlap in their product lines.