Nokia to buy Panasonic’s mobile phone base station division


Nokia to acquire Panasonic System Networks

Nokia to expand market share in Japan, Panasonic to focus on core business

Panasonic, after years of weak financial performance, is focusing on core business. Nikkei reports that Panasonic is planning to sell the base station division, Panasonic System Networks, to Nokia.

Nokia expands No. 1 position in Japan

Our analysis of Japan’s mobile phone base station market shows, that Nokia became No. 1 in Japan’s base station market with the acquisition of Motorola’s base station division. Acquisition of Panasonic System Networks will expand Nokia’s NSN to expand market leadership in Japan’s mobile phone base station market.

Panasonic System Networks

Panasonic System Network’s market share is estimated at around 10% of Japan’s mobile phone base station market, while international sales are essentially non-existent. Thus Panasonic System Network’s global market share is negligible, giving Panasonic little possibility for the scale necessary to operate a stable profitable longterm base station business.

Japan’s mobile phone handset makers and base station makers have for many years focused on serving Japan’s internal market only, and in particular have focused on Japan’s No. 1 mobile phone operators NTT Docomo. This gave Japan’s mobile phone base station makers a temporary home advantage, however with the value shift from hardware to software, they lack scale, and are subsequently uncompetitive globally. More about Japan’s Galapagos effect here.

The context: EU investments in Japan

While Japanese investments in Europe are booming, recently European investments in Japan have been stagnating after Vodafone’s withdrawal from Japan, and there are very few new European investments in Japan. Could it be that Nokia’s investment in Japan starts a new trend of renewed European investments in Japan?

Japan telecommunications industry market report

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Yaskawa acquires The Switch Engineering Oy, manufacturer of generators for wind power

The Switch Engineering Oy was valued US$ 265 million in 2011

Trend: Japanese companies acquire European renewable energy technology companies

On July 2, 2014 Yaskawa Electric Corporation acquired all shares of The Switch Engineering Oy, which are not owned by the Switch. The acquisition price was not announced, however, AMSC in 2011 had agreed and later cancelled to acquire The Switch for US$ 265 million. Therefore we can expect the acquisition price to be at least of this order if not much higher.

Vacon plc held approx. 14% of The Switch directly and another approx. 5% through the investment fund Power Fund I. On July 1, 2014, Vacon plc sold all these shares to Yaskawa Electric Corporation.

Finnish Industry Investment sold a holding of The Switch to Yaskawa.

The Switch Engineering Oy “Bringing you power”

The Switch Engineering Oy makes permanent magnet generators (PMG) and full-power converters (FPC) for wind turbines (1 MW – 8 MW and higher), marine applications and other industrial applications.

The Switch was founded in 1996, and in 2013 reported sales of € 46.2 million (US$ 53 million), and employed 175 people. The Switch headquarters are in Vantaa, Finland.

The Switch Engineering Oy was valued US$ 265 million in 2011

On March 14, 2011, American Superconductor Corporation AMSC signed a definitive agreement to acquire The Switch for US$ 265 million. However, on October 31, 2011, AMSC announced the cancellation of this agreed acquisition and paid € 14.2 million as break-up fee, a sum which had already been paid as an advanced payment of the acquisition price.

Yaskawa Electric Corporation (株式会社 安川電機)

Yaskawa Electric Corporation was founded on July 16, 1915, and headquarters are in Kitakyushu in the West of Japan.

Sales by business segment (FY2014: Fiscal year ended March 2015)

  • Motion control: YEN 188.1 billion (US$ 1.571) 47%
  • Robotics: YEN 136.0 billion (US$ 1.136 billion) 34%
  • System Engineering: YEN 41.0 billion (US$ 0.342 billion) 10%
  • Other: YEN 35.1 billion (US$ 0.293 billion) 9%
  • Total: YEN 400.153 billion (US$ 3.3 billion) 100%

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Toshiba acquires 60% of NuGeneration Ltd


Toshiba acquiring an additional 10% of NuGeneration

NuGeneration becomes a joint-venture between Toshiba (60%) and GDF Suez (40%)

In December 2013, Toshiba purchased 50% of NuGeneration Ltd from Iberdrola (of Spain) for UKL 85 million (US$ 146 million).

On June 30, 2014, Toshiba announced to purchase an additional 10% of NuGeneration Ltd from GDF Suez.

Thus, NuGeneration becomes a joint-venture between Toshiba (owning 60% of NuGeneration) and GDF Suez (owning 40% of NuGeneration).

NuGeneration Ltd (NuGen)

NuGeneration Ltd. (NuGen) owns an option to purchase the 190 hectare Moorside site, located to the north of Sellafield, from the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Agency.

NuGeneration plans to build a 3.4 GigaWatt nuclear power station using three AP1000 reactors built by Westinghouse. Westinghouse is owned by Toshiba (87%), by Kazakhstan based Uranium and nuclear fuel producer KazAtomProm (10%) and the Japanese engineering company IHI (3%).

When finished, NuGeneration’s Moorside nuclear power plant is expected to deliver about 7% of UK’s electricity.

Two factors drive Toshiba to acquire a majority holding of NuGeneration (NuGen):

  1. the great uncertainty of the future of nuclear power in Japan following the Fukushima nuclear accident
  2. Toshiba’s commitment to nuclear power – and dependence on nuclear power construction following the acquisition of the majority of Westinghouse

Japan electronics industries – mono zukuri. Preview this report:

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