Panasonic acquires AI software provider Blue Yonder

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Panasonic has announced the acquisition of Blue Yonder. Blue Yonder makes AI algorithms for planning, automation and e-commerce. Panasonic wants to add Blue Yonder’s services to its own portfolio.

The takeover involves a transaction of 7.1 billion dollars. This corresponds to some 5.9 billion euros. Of this amount, 5.6 billion dollars (4.7 billion euros) is for the 80 percent share that Panasonic did not yet own. The remaining amount is for the repayment of debts of Blue Yonder. Panasonic already held a 20 percent stake in the company.

Supply chains for storees

Blue Yonder was founded in 1985 by Girish Rishi, who is still the CEO of the company today. The company designs solutions for supply chains and has set up its Luminate platform for this purpose. With machine learning and AI algorithms, the company handles planning, automation and e-commerce. Blue Yonder’s customers include shops such as 7-Eleven, Asda, Avon and Best Buy.

The companies say the need for intelligent, autonomous and edge-aware supply chains has increased dramatically with to the Covid-19 pandemic, the rise of e-commerce and proliferation of data. With the acquisition, Panasonic aims to strengthen its portfolio and accelerate the two companies’ shared Autonomous Supply Chain mission.

“I’m extremely happy to welcome Blue Yonder and its associates to the Panasonic Group”, said Yuku Kusumi, the CEO of Panasonic. “Both companies have the same mission to support customers’ frontline operations and we have a high affinity in our corporate cultures. By merging the two companies, we would like to realize a world where waste is autonomously eliminated from all supply chain operations and the cycle of sustainable improvement continues. There are still many such losses and stagnation in supply chain operations, so through the drastic reduction of wasted labor and resources, we would like to provide better ways of working, and contribute to customers’ management reform and also to the realization of a sustainable society by carefully using limited global resources. I am confident that by combining the power of Blue Yonder and Panasonic, we can create innovation in global supply chains.”

“I am thrilled to announce that Blue Yonder is joining Panasonic”, stated Girish Rishi, the CEO of Blue Yonder. “This association came about as a result of three years of working together, first with Panasonic as a Blue Yonder customer and thereafter as joint venture partner. We have developed mutual trust and have a shared vision for an Autonomous Supply Chain that delivers a better life and a better world. As the essential platform for essential times, we are relentlessly focused in fulfilling our customers’ potential.”

Pending approval from competition authorities, the companies expect to complete the acquisition in the second half of 2021.

Tip: Panasonic will pay $6.5 billion to acquire Blue Yonder