Business / Corporate

Panasonic in talks to sell Hyogo plasma factory

Kyodo

Panasonic Corp. is in the final stage of talks with a real estate investment advisory company to sell its plasma display panel factory in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, according to sources.

The deal with Center Point Development Inc. would give Panasonic several billion yen in proceeds, the sources said Monday.

The Tokyo-based investment company is considering converting the Amagasaki No. 3 factory building so it can be leased to warehouse operators and other businesses, they said.

As the 8-hectare site is owned by the Hyogo Prefectural Government and the Amagasaki Municipal Government, the leasehold contract will be altered so a new tenant can move in.

Panasonic will also consider selling its No. 1 and No. 2 factories in Amagasaki, the sources said.

The proceeds will be allocated to more promising sectors, such as auto- and housing-related businesses, so the firm can end its reliance on TV-related business.

Plasma display panel televisions have lost out in the competition with liquid crystal display TVs. Panasonic’s withdrawal from plasma display panel TVs will leave no domestic manufacturers making such TVs on their own.

The No. 3 factory was built in 2009, but it halted operations in fiscal 2011 due to weak plasma display panel sales. The halt resulted in Panasonic booking an impairment loss of ¥43.1 billion for the factory building in the business year through March 2013.

Panasonic announced in October it was backing out of the plasma display panel business.

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