Wednesday May 12, 2021
26-04-21

Panasonic buys Blue Yonder for $7.1bn

Japanese technology and manufacturing giant Panasonic Corporation will spend $7.1 billion to acquire full ownership of Blue Yonder, a leading end-to-end, digital fulfillment platform provider, to expand its supply chain services.

Panasonic will purchase the remaining 80% of shares (for $5.6 billion) of Blue Yonder, adding to the 20% which it acquired in July 2020. Including repayment of outstanding debt the additional investment totals $7.1 billion, valuing Blue Yonder at $8.5 billion.

An agreement to purchase the remaining shares of Blue Yonder was reached on Friday between Panasonic and the existing shareholders New Mountain Capital and funds managed by Blackstone.

The acquisition builds on the Panasonic/Blue Yonder strategic relationship, established in January 2019 with a partnership, followed by the creation of a joint venture company in Japan in November 2019. In July 2020, Panasonic took a 20% minority ownership stake and one seat on the Board of Directors of Blue Yonder. This acquisition brings the strategic relationship full circle.

Acquisition accelerates Autonomous Supply Chain

The need for more intelligent, autonomous and edge-aware supply chains has been dramatically heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise of e-commerce and the proliferation of data, according to the two companies.

This acquisition strengthens Panasonic’s portfolio and accelerates the companies’ shared Autonomous Supply Chain mission, empowering customers to optimize their supply chains using the combined power of AI/ML and IoT and edge devices. By unifying supply, demand and commerce solutions with IoT and edge technologies, companies can better utilize predictive business insights to pivot their operations in real-time.

Combining Panasonic’s strength in industrial engineering, IoT and edge technologies with Blue Yonder’s AI/ML-driven supply chain and commerce solutions greatly intensifies the customer value of Blue Yonder’s leading digital fulfillment platform. Together, Panasonic and Blue Yonder will deliver a unique competitive advantage for customers to drive more automation and actionable, real-time business insights that reduce waste and improve operations, while creating a more sustainable world.

Blue Yonder is pioneer in AI/ML-Driven Supply Chain

Blue Yonder is a supply chain industry leader, providing an end-to-end platform driven by AI/ML that serves as a “system of intelligence” for its global retail, manufacturing and logistics customers. Its cloud-based Luminate platform seamlessly manages all nodes of the supply chain across planning, execution and commerce on one unified platform.

For the year ended December 31, 2020, total company revenue was over $1 billion, 67% of which was recurring revenue. As of December 31, 2020, SaaS annual recurring revenue was $343 million and SaaS net revenue retention rate was 120%.

Acquisition Accelerates Panasonic’s Supply Chain and Automation Strategic Focus

This acquisition enhances Panasonic’s own digital transformation and customer-centric focus. On April 1, 2022, the Panasonic Group will shift to a holding company system concentrating management resources on strategic businesses in key areas such as providing supply chain innovation and automation.

Yasuyuki Higuchi is the CEO of Panasonic’s Connected Solutions Company (to become Panasonic Connect Co., Ltd. on April 1, 2022) which leads this business area. Blue Yonder CEO Girish Rishi and the extended leadership team will join the new organization and the Blue Yonder brand will be retained and business will function within the Panasonic Connected Solutions Company umbrella.

Panasonic CEO Yuki Kusumi stated, “I’m extremely happy to welcome Blue Yonder and its associates to the Panasonic Group. Both companies have the same mission to support customers’ frontline operations and we have a high affinity in our corporate cultures.

“By merging the two companies, we would like to realize 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 labor and resources, we would like to provide better ways of working, and contribute to customers’ management reform and also to the realization 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.”

Girish Rishi, CEO of Blue Yonder stated, “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.”

SourceBlue Yonder
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