Panasonic Buys Sanyo - But Why?

Panasonic's been courting Sanyo for a while, but they've finally made it official. Panasonic has agreed to buy Sanyo for a mere $9 billion. Wow.

With all eyes on environmental issues, Sanyo was particularly attractive to Panasonic. Sanyo is huge in the solar power business, with plans already in the pipeline for an $80 million solar factory in Oregon - it should be open by October, 2009.  Once the deal is done, Panasonic will be expanding both its solar division and its battery division.

Where does Panasonic see this going in the future?

At, Panasonic is reported to say they have plans to make investments in the hybrid and electric car battery marketplace.  Interesting - a US battery-maker coalition was just formed to protect domestic manufacturers.

Who knew the solar business was such a hot topic? —Leslie Shapiro

CNN Money