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Panasonic to boost alliances, M&A quest

Kyodo

Panasonic Corp. will step up mergers and acquisitions moves as well as collaboration with other firms, company officials said, reflecting the ailing electronics maker’s strategic shift from managing the entire process from development to sales.

In its digital camera business, the company will examine teaming up with an optical-related company as it switches focus on value-added products such as mirrorless cameras, while narrowing entry models for digital compact cameras due to waning demand amid the spread of smartphones, the officials said Thursday.

Panasonic also will study the possibility of allying with other firms in the security business, involving products such as surveillance cameras, the officials said in a briefing to analysts on the manufacturer’s business plan.

As for liquid crystal display panels, Panasonic plans to sharply increase the sales ratio of those for nontelevision uses to around 80 percent of total panel sales in the current fiscal year, up from 20 percent the previous year, to rebuild its slumping operations in the field.

The officials said Panasonic will procure components for use in products including tablet computers as well as for medical and automobile uses.

Panasonic posted massive losses in the past two years because of sluggish sales of digital appliances, including flat-panel TVs, and hefty restructuring costs.

Regarding home appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners, the company will conduct mergers and acquisitions by 2018 to boost its market share overseas. It also plans to make a full-fledged entry into Europe’s beauty appliance market.