Sanyo to slash 1 000 workers

2009-01-06 19:14

Tokyo - Sanyo is considering cutting up to 1 000 domestic workers in the next few months, as it scales back unprofitable businesses ahead of an expected buyout by Panasonic, a press report said on Tuesday.

Sanyo may cut 500 regular workers from its workforce of 20 000 in Japan by the end of the fiscal year in March, the Nikkei business newspaper said. Another 500 contract and temporary workers could also be cut.

The company, which is undergoing a broad restructuring, said in a statement it had made no such announcement, and a spokesperson said nothing had been decided.

In December, Panasonic began a $9bn takeover of Sanyo, which is a well-known brand but has struggled to stay competitive with larger rivals in Japan's cut throat electronics industry. Sanyo was rescued in 2006 with a ¥300bn bailout by large investors led by Goldman Sachs, who have agreed to sell their stake to Panasonic.

The job cuts at Sanyo are likely to come in the company's struggling semiconductor business, as well as other weak areas such as home electronics, the Nikkei said.

The company will also continue reassigning workers to its solar and rechargeable battery divisions, which have stronger growth prospects.

A number of big-name Japanese companies have announced job cuts and production freezes in recent months, including Toyota and Sony. The global economic slowdown has hurt sales, and the yen's strength has reduced profits made overseas.

- AP