Kyocera to acquire Sanyo handset arm

The Japanese media is abuzz with rumors that Kyocera Wireless Corp. is in talks to acquire rival Sanyo Electric's mobile handset manufacturing business, a transaction reportedly worth as much as $435 million. If finalized, the deal would make Kyocera the world's seventh largest handset maker. The sale would also herald the latest move in a Sanyo restructuring scheme spearheaded by shareholder Goldman Sachs--earlier this year Sanyo sold its stake in leasing firm Sanyo Electric Credit to General Electric and is seeking a buyer for its microchip unit as well.

"Regarding the mobile phone handset business, Sanyo is considering all possibilities for development and growth," the company said in a prepared statement. "These media reports were not based upon an official announcement by Sanyo and it is not a fact that Sanyo has made a decision to sell this business. When Sanyo deems it necessary to publicly disclose the facts surrounding business decisions, it will do so promptly."

In an announcement Friday, Japanese handset distributor Telepark Corp. confirmed its purchase of Sanyo's mobile phone sales and distribution unit, a deal said to be worth up to $85 million. Telecom Sanyo markets handsets produced by Sanyo and rival manufacturers, and reported net sales of $333.9 million in the fiscal year ending March 2007.

For more on the Kyocera/Sanyo rumors:
- read this Wireless Watch Japan article