Newspaper says Panasonic may sell its health-care unit

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Newspaper says Panasonic may sell its health-care unit

Panasonic is considering “various options” for the growth of its health-care unit, spokeswoman Megumi Kitagawa said Sunday, declining to comment on a report that it may sell the business.

The company is considering selling the unit, which markets devices to check blood sugar levels and hearing aids, for between “a few tens of billion yen” to 100 billion yen ($1.04 billion), the Nikkei newspaper reported Sunday without citing any sources. Private equity funds such as KKR & Company may be interested in buying the unit, it said.

A telephone call to Steven Oken, a KKR spokesman in Hong Kong, outside business hours yesterday was answered by a recorded message.

Japan’s No. 2 TV maker is cutting jobs and reducing its number of business units as it forecasts a net loss of 765 billion yen in the fiscal year ending March 31 amid competition from Apple and Samsung Electronics. A sale of the health-care unit is part of the company’s plan to accelerate divesting “non-core” businesses, Nikkei said.

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