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09/17/2021

Panasonic acquires Blue Yonder in $7.1 billion blockbuster deal

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Panasonic has closed its $7.1 billion acquisition of Blue Yonder.

Panasonic is now the full owner of Blue Yonder.

Panasonic has completed the acquisition of retail and supply chain enterprise digital fulfillment platform provider Blue Yonder. The global electronics and technology giant has now purchased the remaining 80% of shares of Blue Yonder, adding to the 20% which it acquired in July 2020.

The remaining 80% of Blue Yonder’s shares had a purchase value of $5.6 billion. Including repayment of outstanding debt, the additional Panasonic investment totals $7.1 billion, valuing Blue Yonder at $8.5 billion. The companies first announced the acquisition in April 2021.  

Since the April announcement, the acquisition has completed antitrust clearance procedures and received approval of regulatory authorities in the U.S. and other countries. The Blue Yonder brand will be retained and the business will function within the Panasonic Connected Solutions Company. Blue Yonder CEO Girish Rishi and the entire leadership team will remain with the company.

JDA Software Inc. changed its name to Blue Yonder in February 2020. JDA acquired Blue Yonder, a provider of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) supply chain and retail solutions, in August 2018. The company said at the time that evolving the JDA brand and name to Blue Yonder also further supported the impact of AI and ML technologies across the supply chain, logistics and retail markets.

According to Panasonic and Blue Yonder, this acquisition strengthens Panasonic’s portfolio and accelerates the companies’ shared autonomous supply chain mission, enabling customers to optimize their supply chains using the combined power of AI/ML and Internet of Things (IoT) and edge devices. 

Panasonic and Blue Yonder established a strategic relationship in January 2019 with a partnership, followed by the creation of a joint venture company in Japan in November 2019. In July 2020, Panasonic took a 20% minority ownership stake and one seat on the board of directors of Blue Yonder. 

This acquisition also enhances Panasonic’s digital transformation and customer-centric initiative. On April 1, 2022, the Panasonic Group will shift to a holding company system, concentrating management resources on strategic businesses in key areas such as providing supply chain innovation and automation. Through this transformation, Panasonic says it aims to contribute to the realization of a sustainable society through more efficient use of limited global resources.

Yasuyuki Higuchi is the CEO of Panasonic’s Connected Solutions Company (to become Panasonic Connect Co., Ltd. on April 1, 2022) which leads this business area. 

“With the increasing frequency and impact of supply chain disruptions, companies need data and visibility to make real-time operations decisions. Panasonic’s Edge technology with Blue Yonder’s AI/ML capabilities combines IoT devices and an AI-powered platform to gather and analyze data more quickly and with greater insight,” said industry analyst Simon Ellis, program VP, IDC. “Panasonic’s resources and Blue Yonder’s innovation will accelerate the development of the tools customers need to anticipate and prevent disruptions and breathe autonomy into their supply chains. Panasonic's acquisition of Blue Yonder is indicative of what's to come.”