Panasonic to sell stake in healthcare division

Panasonic is moving ahead with plans to sell a stake in its healthcare unit for as much as $1 billion. Reuters reports that the Japanese consumer electronics giant has hired Bank of America/Merrill Lynch to coordinate with potential bidders. The division makes devices focused on ultrasound imaging, blood glucose monitoring and pain-relief lasers, among other device areas, and had been rumored initially to want to sell the division outright. But according to the story, the company is now looking for an investor/partner who can help grow the unit as Panasonic shifts away from consumer electronics, President Kazuhiro Tsuga said in March. Panasonic's plasma TV and consumer electronics are losing money in the face of sluggish sales. Story

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