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Japan's Sanyo to cut up to 1,000 jobs: report

business Updated: Jan 06, 2009 12:32 IST

Japan's Sanyo Electric Co plans to cut up to 1,000 jobs to revamp its struggling businesses before being bought by Panasonic Corp, a press report said on Tuesday.

Sanyo Electric is considering shedding about 500 of its 20,000 regular employees in Japan, mainly in the semiconductor division, by the end of March, the Nikkei business daily reported.

The total number of job cuts, including temporary workers, is expected to reach about 1,000, the daily said, without naming its sources.

Several hundred of the 2,000 regular jobs at wholly owned unit Sanyo Semiconductor Co. are expected to be axed under an early retirement programme, the Jiji news agency said. The subsidiary has some 10,000 workers worldwide.

"As we have announced with Panasonic, we must pursue structural reform," a company spokeswoman said. "But at this point in time, no firm decision has been made."

Panasonic said last month it would acquire Sanyo Electric for up to nine billion dollars, forming an industry heavyweight amid the global downturn.

The deal, which is expected to be completed by the end of March, was the first major realignment of Japan's electronics industry since the start of the economic crisis, which has caused consumer demand to slump.

Sanyo Electric has seven semiconductor plants overseas, including in China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Kyodo News said the company plans to reduce the number to two.

Sanyo Electric booked a group operating loss of 2.8 billion yen (30 million dollars) in its semiconductor business for the year to March 2008.

The operating loss swelled to 5.8 billion yen in the six months to September 2008, compared with an operating profit of 1.5 billion a year earlier.