Panasonic shifts from restructuring to aggressive acquisitions

The electronics giant is turning its back on aggressive restructuring and job cuts in favor of going full throttle in boosting its acquisitions portfolio.

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Panasonic's last few years have been less than pleasant for employees who have lost jobs or weathered the storm through ruthless restructuring, but now the firm says it has its eye on growth through acquisition.

The electronics giant is attempting to bury years of heavy financial losses, a falling stock price and the layoff of thousands of employees in order to regain a secure footing in the market, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. Acquisitions and mergers are now paramount, according to Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga.

Speaking at a news conference on Friday, the executive said:

"We will aggressively look for mergers and acquisitions as well as investments in strategic partners."

The Osaka-based company was once a household brand name, and was well-known for consumer products including television sets and smartphones. However, stiff competition and low consumer demand forced the firm to scale back operations, and now Panasonic is exploring other means to generate revenue.

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For example, Panasonic recently unveiled a partnership with Tesla in order to supply the automaker with electric vehicle (EV) batteries. Billions of yen  have been set aside as Panasonic's initial investment in the 'Gigafactory,' a Nevada-based complex which will focus on lithium-ion battery research and production. In addition to EV technology, one of Panasonic's profit drivers is "eco solutions," home appliances and smart technology.

The company has set a goal of reaching revenue levels of $90 billion by 2019. In order to reach this margin, however, Panasonic must do more than rely on singular, gradual growth. According to Tsuga, the answer lies within mergers and acquisitions. As a result, Panasonic is considering setting aside a "significant" fund for investment opportunities.

While investment in mergers and acquisitions is potentially a positive aspect of the firm's future, this does not mean Panasonic is out of the woods yet completely when it comes to reforming the company. So far, over 40,000 employees been cut and divisions merged or scrapped, but Tsuga admitted there is more left to do. Tsuga noted:

"We are still a mixture of businesses that are growing and businesses that need to shrink to do well."

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