Panasonic Corp. has agreed to acquire Blue Yonder for $7.1 billion in one of the largest acquisitions for the Japanese conglomerate.
Panasonic, which already has a 20% stake in Blue Yonder, will now buy the rest of the U.S. artificial intelligence software developer from New Mountain Capital and funds managed by Blackstone Group Inc. for $5.6 billion, according to a statement released Friday. Blue Yonder’s acquisition includes repayment of outstanding debt.
Panasonic’s total investment in the AI firm will amount to $7.1 billion.
“The need for more intelligent, autonomous and edge-aware supply chains has been dramatically heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Panasonic said.
The acquisition announcement came less than a year after Panasonic bought a minority stake in Blue Yonder for $800 billion, pushing the AI software developer’s valuation north of $5.5 billion.
Panasonic’s latest acquisition will value Blue Yonder at $8.5 billion.
The Japanese conglomerate will fund the acquisition of Blue Yonder with cash as well as a bridge loan. The deal is expected to close by the end of 2021.
Shares of Panasonic plummeted on Friday and touched their lowest since Jan. 18. The firm’s stock fell 3.5% at the close.
Scottsdale, Arizona-based Blue Yonder was founded in 1985 and formerly known as JDA Software Inc. The company makes supply-chain management software and uses AI to predict product demand. Last year, it raked revenue of more than $1 billion. It counts Coca-Cola Co., Best Buy and Walmart Inc., among its 3,000 customers globally.
Blue Yonder’s acquisition will be Panasonic’s largest ever since it spent 800 billion yen to make Sanyo Electric and Panasonic Electric Works wholly-owned subsidiaries in 2011.
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