Sanyo Electric performing M&A juggling act?

Sanyo Electric is reportedly weighing the potential sale of its cell phone and semiconductor businesses.

Investors at Sanyo Electric may be revising their line of questioning.

Rather than ask which business unit is up for sale, Wall Street watchers may be wondering which business unit is "not" for sale.

Sanyo Electric reportedly is entertaining buyout bids from a number of players for its semiconductor business, according to a report Monday in the Wall Street Journal, which cited sources as pegging the deal beyond $859 million.

Two private equity firms--along with MKS Partners, a Japanese private equity firm--are bidding on the chip unit, the Journal reported.

Reuters, however, noted that Francisco Partners dropped out as a member in one of the two private equity groups.

One group is now reportedly composed of CCMP Capital Asia and The Longreach Group, without Francisco, according to Reuters. The Journal notes the other private equity group is composed of Blackstone Group, Vestar Capital Partners and CVC Capital Partners. MKS is a third contender for Sanyo Electric's chip business.

Meanwhile, just two weeks ago, reports were surfacing, including in Reuters, that Sanyo Electric was looking to dump its cell phone business to potential buyers.

Sanyo, in response to reports regarding its cell phone business, issued a statement that did little to clear up the sell or no-sell rumors by saying: "Sanyo is considering all possibilities regarding expanding and enhancing this business. However, at this point, nothing has been officially decided."

The Journal, however, cited comments from Seiichiro Sano, Sanyo Electric's president, that the company will announce a restructuring plan in November, which may very well include divestitures of businesses, except for its solar and battery units.

 

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