Panasonic cashes huge profit on Tesla stake sale

Photo: EPA

Japanese conglomerate Panasonic announced it had managed to sell its stake in the electric cars producer Tesla, Reuters reported. The sale brought enormous profit equaling about seven times the initial invested sum. Panasonic received $3.61 billion for its stake in Tesla. The sale comes as Panasonic tries to reduce its dependence on Tesla and channel the profit to new investments.

Panasonic's battery business at present is heavily dominated by and the two firms often struggled over decision making. Panasonic bought 1.4 million Tesla shares at $21.15 each in 2010 for about $30 million. That stake was worth $730 million at the end of March 2020. The shares rocketed almost seven fold since then and closed at nearly $680 apiece on Thursday.

While Panasonic gave financial backing to Tesla when it was smaller, the automaker's expansion means there's no need for capital ties. The stake sale will not affect the partnership with Tesla, the Panasonic spokesperson said, but comes as the automaker is diversifying its own battery supply chain.

Tesla has struck deals with LG, and China's CATL with the latter planning a plant in Shanghai near the automaker's production base. Panasonic said earlier this year it would buy the shares of U.S. supply-chain software company Blue Yonder that it does not already own, in a $7.1 billion deal. Its biggest such deal in a decade.

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