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Panasonic Shares Plunge on Sanyo Electric Deal

Shares of Japanese electronics maker Panasonic fell 8 percent ahead of an expected announcement later on Friday of its plans to take over smaller rival Sanyo Electric.

Shares of Sanyo rose 2 percent, while the broader market lost nearly 7 percent following a sell-off on Wall Street.

The Panasonic-Sanyo deal, which one brokerage analyst has estimated could be worth about $8.8 billion, would create Japan's largest electronics maker in terms of revenue, surpassing Hitachi Ltd.

Sanyo and Panasonic are set to hold board meetings to formally agree on the acquisition on Friday and will make an announcement later in the day, sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters.

Panasonic, the world's top plasma TV maker, is keen to acquire Sanyo because of its leading position in the rechargeable batteries industry.

The deal would also allow it to enter the promising solar market as Sanyo is the world's seventh-largest maker of solar cells.

Reuters and other media reported on Saturday that Panasonic, formerly called Matsushita, was in talks with Sanyo's top three shareholders Daiwa Securities SMBC, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Co and Goldman Sachs to take control of Sanyo.

Sources familiar with the discussions told Reuters that Panasonic President Fumio Ohtsubo and Sanyo President Seiichiro Sano agreed in principle to Sanyo becoming part of Panasonic, but no price had been set.

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