Panasonic sells Tesla stake for $3.6 bln, may use cash for strategic investments

A logo of Panasonic Corp is pictured at the Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan, October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

  • Panasonic wants to reduce reliance on Tesla
  • Panasonic seeks to raise cash for investing in growth
  • Sale will not change relationship – Panasonic spokesperson

TOKYO, June 25 (Reuters) – Panasonic Corp (6752.T) sold its stake in electric car maker Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) for about 400 billion yen ($3.61 billion) in the year ended March, a spokesperson for the Japanese company said on Friday.

The sale comes as the bicycles-to-hair dryers conglomerate is seeking to reduce its dependence on Tesla and raise cash for investing in growth.

Panasonic’s battery business is dominated by Elon Musk’s Tesla, but the two firms have had a tense relationship at times with executives trading barbs publicly.

Panasonic bought 1.4 million Tesla shares at $21.15 each in 2010 for about $30 million. That stake was…

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