© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A logo of Panasonic Corp is pictured at the Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan, October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo
By Sam Nussey and Shinji Kitamura
TOKYO (Reuters) -Panasonic Corp sold its stake in electric car maker Tesla (NASDAQ:) Inc for about 400 billion yen ($3.61 billion) in the year ended March, a spokesperson for the Japanese company said on Friday.
The sale comes as the bicycles to hair dryers conglomerate is seeking to reduce its dependence on Tesla and raise cash for investing in growth.
Panasonic (OTC:)’s battery business is dominated by Elon Musk’s Tesla, but the two firms have had at times a tense relationship with executives trading barbs publicly.
Panasonic bought 1.4 million Tesla shares at $21.15 each in 2010 for about $30 million. That stake was worth $730 million at the end of March 2020. Shares have gained almost seven fold since then and closed up 3.5% at $679.82 apiece on Thursday.
The stake sale will not affect the partnership with Tesla, the Panasonic spokesperson said, but comes as the automaker is moving to diversify its own battery supply chain.
Panasonic said earlier this year it would buy the shares of U.S. supply-chain software company Blue Yonder https://www.reuters.com/business/panasonic-says-it-will-buy-us-supply-chain-software-firm-blue-yonder-2021-04-23 that it does not already own, in a $7.1 billion deal.
Panasonic shares were up 4.5% on Friday, on track for their biggest daily rise since January.
($1 = 110.8700 yen)
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