June 25, 2021

Panasonic sells its entire stake in Tesla to raise cash

By ellen

TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) – Panasonic, which jointly owns a battery factory with Tesla, sold the entirety of its stake in the electric vehicle maker.

The Japanese company held 80.9 billion yen (S$979.4 million) of Tesla shares as of March last year and that stake had been reduced to zero by the end of March this year, Panasonic disclosed in a filing on Friday (June 25).

The filing did not give any indication as to why Panasonic jettisoned its interest. Tesla’s stock appreciated more than fivefold over the 12-month period.

The Nikkei reported the news earlier, saying Panasonic will book several hundred billion yen in profit and will use the proceeds to help pay for its US$7 billion acquisition of artificial intelligence software developer Blue Yonder.

Panasonic is Tesla’s oldest battery supplier and the two have invested billions of dollars in a battery factory in Nevada. The relationship has been contentious at points, with Panasonic facing frequent – and at times public – prods from Tesla chief executive officer Elon Musk to boost battery production. Panasonic also has a battery partnership with Toyota Motor.

Shares of Panasonic rose as much as 4.8 per cent in Tokyo on Friday. Tesla closed 3.5 per cent higher in the United States on Thursday. Its Nasdaq-traded stock touched a high in January of US$883.09.