Panasonic Corp., which jointly owns a battery factory with Tesla Inc., sold the entirety of its stake in the electric vehicle maker for around 400 billion yen ($3.6 billion).
The Japanese company held some $730 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. Tesla’s stock appreciated more than fivefold over the 12-month period.
The sale was part of a review of Panasonic’s cross-shareholdings policy in accordance with corporate governance code guidelines and won’t impact upon the company’s relationship or partnership with Tesla, spokeswoman Yayoi Watanabe said, adding that Panasonic had informed Tesla about the transaction. Proceeds will be used for investing in future growth, she said.
The Nikkei reported the news earlier, saying Panasonic will use the proceeds to help pay for its $7 billion acquisition of artificial intelligence software developer Blue Yonder.
Panasonic, under new President and Chief Executive Officer Yuki Kusumi, has embarked on a two-year mission to churn out more batteries for Tesla and shake free billions of dollars to invest in new areas of growth by making the company more efficient.