Following its acquisition by Panasonic Corp, Sanyo Electric Co of Japan is withdrawing from Taiwan by selling all of its shares to the management team of its local unit — Sanyo Electric Co (Taiwan) (台灣三洋) — and Abico Group (能率集團).
Sanyo Taiwan said it had reached an agreement with its Japanese parent company on Monday allowing the Taiwanese unit to continue using the “Sanyo” trademark until 2018. After that transitional period, Sanyo Taiwan will change its trademark to Sanlux.
Sanyo Japan also agreed to transfer the trademarks “Health” and “媽媽樂 (Mamale)” to the Taiwanese unit at zero cost, Sanyo Taiwan spokesman Liao Shen-hsu (廖慎續) said by telephone yesterday.
Liao said the Japanese company had decided to gradually stop using the “Sanyo” brand after it was acquired by Panasonic in 2008, with the Japanese company working to put all its products under the Panasonic brand.
On Monday, Sanyo Taiwan and Abico said they would jointly work on a tender offer to acquire 150 million shares, or 47 percent, of Sanyo Taiwan’s shares from the Japanese company at NT$23.5 per share.
The NT$3.53 billion (US$121.49 million) tender offer, effective yesterday to Jan. 24, is expected to be completed by the end of this month, Abico said in a press release on Monday. Once completed, the deal will mark the largest share transaction in Taiwan’s home appliance industry.
Liao said that Sanyo Taiwan’s management would seek to buy about 24 percent of the shares, while Abico would purchase about 23 percent.
Sanyo Taiwan also signed a trademark license agreement, a five-year product maintenance service contract and a contract termination letter with its parent company.
Under the agreements, Sanyo will no longer provide after-sales services for users of Sanyo’s PHS cellphones, projectors, digital cameras and massage products, Liao said.
Instead, Sanyo has authorized First International Telecom Corp (大眾電信), Taiwan Digi-com Co (台灣數位電通), Herng Wei Enterperise Co (恆崴) and Tokuyo Biotech Co (督洋生技) to provide after-sales services for the four products, he said.
However, the Japanese firm will still be responsible for maintenance services for other imported Sanyo-branded products, he added.
Sanyo Taiwan is scheduled to hold a board meeting after the Lunar New Year holiday, and Abico may seek five seats on the board to replace Sanyo Japan’s representatives.
Liao said he did not expect Sanyo Taiwan to reshuffle its management after Abico becomes one of the company’s major shareholders.
Local media reports yesterday said Abico was planning to use the investment in Sanyo Taiwan to participate in potential land development of the Taiwanese unit’s assets in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Sanchong District (三重) and Sinjhuang District (新莊).
Liao said Sanyo Taiwan respects its partner’s plan, but Abico will have to seek approval from other board members.
Sanyo Taiwas was founded in 1963. Its is currently headed by chairman Lee Wen-feng (李文峰) and has NT$3.16 billion in capital. The company reported sales of NT$9.84 billion last year, up 11.98 percent from NT$8.79 billion in 2011. Earnings per share in the first three quarters of last year reached NT$0.7, down 0.44 percent from NT$1.25 in 2011
Sanyo Taiwan’s shares closed up 4.22 percent at NT$31.40 in Taipei trading yesterday, outperforming the broader market, which fell 0.75 percent.