Recent filings reveal that electronics giant Panasonic sold its stake in Tesla at the end of its fiscal year (March) for a whopping 400 billion yen. For those of you who like your news in ‘Murican, that’s more than a US$3.6 billion haul for the Japanese firm.
A spokesperson for Panasonic told Reuters that the stock sale was part of a plan to raise cash to fund growth in other sectors that the “bicycles-to-hair dryers conglomerate” competes in. At the same, the move is believed to reduce Panasonic’s dependence on Tesla’s battery business — which might sound strange, if you read yesterday’s report that Panasonic’s new CEO wants to build more batteries for Tesla.
Apparently, “set a 2-year goal to produce more batteries for Tesla while freeing up billions of dollars to invest in new areas of growth” was code for “sell our Tesla stock and try to find more clients,” then? Hard to say.
Regardless, it’s hard to fault Panasonic for taking its gains. For the record, it bought 1.4 million Tesla shares at $21.15 each in 2010 for $30 million. Those shares were worth $730 million at the start of Panasonic’s last fiscal year and rocketed up another 700-ish percent since then, closing up an additional 3.5% at $679.82 ea. on Thursday.
“The impact of crypto assets (read: Elon’s Bitcoin purchases) may have pushed Tesla’s share price above its intrinsic value, making it a good time to sell,” according to Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Research Institute who was quoted by Reuters.
For Tesla’s part, it is making moves to reduce its dependence on Panasonic, diversifying its own battery supply chain by making deals with South Korea’s LG Chem and China’s CATL, which is building an 80 GWh battery factory near Tesla Giga Shanghai.
It remains to be seen how any of this potentially Bitcoin-fueled gains-snatching will play out, of course, but it seems to me that all these different manufacturers building what is, essentially, the same sort of cell is a good step towards a universal battery design. What do you guys think? Scroll on down to the comments section and let us know!
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