Panasonic sells Tesla stake for $3.6 billion, profits almost sevenfold
Panasonic Corp sold its stake in electric car maker Tesla Inc for about 400 billion yen ($3.61 billion) in the year ended March, a spokesperson for the Japanese company said on June 25.
Panasonic's battery business is dominated by Elon Musk's Tesla, but the two firms have had a tense relationship at times 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. The shares have gained almost seven fold since then and closed up 3.5% at $679.82 apiece on Thursday.
"The impact of crypto assets may have pushed Tesla's share price above its intrinsic value, making it a good time to sell," said Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Research Institute.
Panasonic said earlier this year it would buy the shares of U.S. supply-chain software company Blue Yonder that it does not already own, in a $7.1 billion deal. Its biggest such deal in a decade, the price raised the eyebrows of analysts who pointed to the firm's spotty M&A track record.