Panasonic buys supply chain software firm Blue Yonder for $7.1bn

Panasonic has acquired supply chain software firm Blue Yonder in a deal worth $7.1bn.

The electronics firm said the acquisition would take its strategic relationship with Blue Yonder “full circle”.

Blue Yonder is one of the world’s largest end-to-end supply chain software providers, using technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Covid-19, the rise of e-commerce and proliferation of data have heightened the need for more intelligent and autonomous supply chains, Panasonic said. It added that the acquisition would enhance its digital transformation and customer-centric focus. 

Yuki Kusumi, CEO at Panasonic, said: “By merging the two companies, we would like to realise a world where waste is autonomously eliminated from all supply chain operations and the cycle of sustainable improvement continues. 

“There are still many such losses and stagnation in supply chain operations, so through the drastic reduction of wasted labour and resources, we would like to provide better ways of working, and contribute to customers’ management reform and also to the realisation of a sustainable society by carefully using limited global resources. I am confident that by combining the power of Blue Yonder and Panasonic, we can create innovation in global supply chains."

Under the deal, Panasonic will purchase the remaining 80% of shares of Blue Yonder, adding to the 20% it acquired in July 2020.

The acquisition is built on a previous strategic relationship between the firms, which was established through a partnership in January 2019 followed by the creation of a joint venture company in Japan in November 2019. 

Under the joint venture, the firms said they would be creating “cutting-edge solutions for businesses in the manufacturing, logistics and retails fields” by combining Blue Yonder’s software with Panasonic's expertise and devices.

The agreement to purchase the remaining shares was made by Panasonic and existing shareholders New Mountain Capital and Blackstone.

Girish Rishi, CEO of Blue Yonder, added: “I am thrilled to announce that Blue Yonder is joining Panasonic. This association came about as a result of three years of working together, first with Panasonic as a Blue Yonder customer and thereafter as joint venture partner. 

“We have developed mutual trust and have a shared vision for an autonomous supply chain that delivers a better life and a better world. As the essential platform for essential times, we are relentlessly focused in fulfilling our customers’ potential.”

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