By SHINO YUASA
2008-04-28 11:51 AM
Matsushita and Sanyo later issued separate statements denying the Yomiuri Shimbun report, and the Tokyo Stock Exchange briefly suspended trading shares in the companies.
Matsushita, which makes Panasonic brand products, finished the morning trading session 1.2 percent higher at 2,145 yen (US$20.55; euro13.18). Sanyo finished the session 4.2 percent higher at 248 yen (US$2.38; euro1.53).
The Yomiuri Shimbun report said the two high-tech giants were forming a capital tie-up and might eventually merge in the future. The paper did not cite any named sources.
According to the report, Sanyo's three major shareholders, including Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., were likely to sell their combined 67-percent stake in the struggling Japanese electronics maker to Matsushita.
Following the capital tie-up, Matsushita and Sanyo could integrate their management, the Yomiuri said.
In December last year, Sanyo said it was amending earnings reports dating back to 2000 to record greater losses, inviting calls by regulators to fine the company for several years of accounting irregularities.
Sanyo has been trying to turn itself around after taking a beating from cheaper Asian rivals.
Matsushita is scheduled to announce its earnings report later Monday for the fiscal year ended March 31.