Panasonic to acquire Blue Yonder for $6.5bn

Panasonic is set to acquire supply chain software company Blue Yonder in a deal expected to be worth $6.5 billion, according to sources originally reported by Nikkei.

Blue Yonder, founded in 1985, develops software that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to optimise supply chains by predicting factors such as customer demand and delivery dates.

The sources highlighted that though negotiations are at a late stage, there is still a possibility of the acquisition falling through.

Sources claimed that the Japanese manufacturer will combine Blue Yonder’s software with its existing hardware portfolio to improve operational efficiency.

Panasonic already control a significant portion of the in-store security camera market and produce many of the portable bar code readers used in logistics facilities.

Blue Yonder currently boasts 3,300 clients worldwide, including Unilever and Walmart, and has revenues of around $1 billion.

Panasonic previously acquired a 20 per cent stake in Blue Yonder in May 2020, and the other two shareholders are US funds Blackstone and New Mountain Capital.

The news marks Panasonic’s largest M&A deal since it made Sanyo Electric and Panasonic Electric Works wholly owned subsidiaries in 2011 and is expected to come from Panasonic's own funds.

The move comes as many manufacturers, such as Sony in video games, attempt to diversify their business models away from hardware to build recurring revenue streams and subscription models.

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