Panasonic sells its entire stake in Tesla to raise cash

Panasonic held 80.9 billion yen ($729 million) of Tesla shares as of March last year.Panasonic is Tesla’s oldest battery supplier and the two have inv
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Panasonic lost its status as Tesla's exclusive battery supplier, but has been able to turn around the U.S. joint battery business as demand for Tesla's electric cars soar. (AFP)
Panasonic lost its status as Tesla's exclusive battery supplier, but has been able to turn around the U.S. joint battery business as demand for Tesla's electric cars soar.

Panasonic Corp., which jointly owns a battery factory with Tesla Inc., sold the entirety of its stake in the electric vehicle maker.

The Japanese company held 80.9 billion yen ($729 million) of Tesla shares as of March last year and that stake had been reduced to zero by the end of this March, Panasonic disclosed in a filing Friday. The filing didn’t give any indication as to why Panasonic jettisoned its interest. Tesla’s stock appreciated more than fivefold over the 12-month period.

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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 $7 billion acquisition of artificial intelligence software developer Blue Yonder.

Also Read : Tesla sued over fees at Supercharger stations

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 Corp.

Shares of Panasonic rose as much as 4.8% in Tokyo on Friday. Tesla closed 3.5% higher in the U.S. on Thursday. Its Nasdaq-traded stock touched a high in January of $883.09.

First Published Date: 25 Jun 2021, 09:23 AM IST
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