Panasonic will acquire Blue Yonder for a total of $7.1 billion, including purchasing the remaining 80% of shares it doesn’t yet own for $5.6 billion and handling the repayment of outstanding debt. The deal, which values Blue Yonder at $8.5 billion, will accelerate the companies’ shared autonomous supply chain mission, which aims to help companies utilize predictive business insights to pivot their operations in real time through the combined power of AI/ML and IoT and edge devices.
The combination will combine Panasonic’s strength in industrial engineering, IoT and edge technologies with Blue Yonder’s AI/ML-driven supply chain and commerce solutions. Together, Panasonic and Blue Yonder will seek to drive more automation and actionable, real-time business insights that reduce waste and improve operations.
“By merging the two companies, we would like to realize a world where waste is autonomously eliminated from all supply chain operations and the cycle of sustainable improvement continues,” said Yuki Kusumi, CEO of Panasonic in a statement. “There are still many such losses and stagnation in supply chain operations, so through the drastic reduction of wasted labor and resources, we would like to provide better ways of working, and contribute to customers’ management reform and also to the realization of a sustainable society by carefully using limited global resources.”
The acquisition also will enhance Panasonic’s digital transformation and customer-centric focus. On April 1, 2022, the Panasonic Group will shift to a holding company system, concentrating management resources on strategic business areas such as providing supply chain innovation and automation. At this time, Panasonic’s Connected Solutions Company will become Panasonic Connect Co., Ltd. Blue Yonder CEO Girish Rishi and the extended leadership team will join the new organization and the solution provider will operate under its umbrella.
This acquisition builds on the existing Panasonic/Blue Yonder strategic relationship, established with a partnership in January 2019 and followed by the creation of a joint venture company in Japan in November 2019. In July 2020, Panasonic took a 20% minority ownership stake and a seat on the Board of Directors of Blue Yonder.
“This association came about as a result of three years of working together, first with Panasonic as a Blue Yonder customer and thereafter as joint venture partner,” said Rishi in a statement. “We have developed mutual trust and have a shared vision for an autonomous supply chain that delivers a better life and a better world. As the essential platform for essential times, we are relentlessly focused in fulfilling our customers’ potential.”
The transaction has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both Panasonic and Blue Yonder. The deal is expected to close by the second half of fiscal 2021 and is subject to customary regulatory approvals.