Potential IPO

Several media reported that Panasonic Holdings Corp. plans a stock market listing for its supply-chain management arm. It will include the Blue Yonder business that it acquired for about $7 billion in 2021.

Panasonic is a Japanese multinational electronics company and makes consumer products and batteries for Tesla Inc. The Japanese company thinks of the listing as an effective way to accelerate growth in the supply-chain unit. It means that a new company will be able to recruit staff and make acquisitions easier.

Blue Yonder

Panasonic bought full control of the Scottsdale, Arizona-based Blue Yonder in 2021. In fact, the Japanese company took a minority stake in 2020. Blue Yonder, founded in 1985, makes supply-chain management software and uses artificial intelligence to predict product demand.

In a press conference after the announcement, Panasonic Chief Executive Officer Yuki Kusumi said in the following. “We would consider taking the division public outside of Japan, perhaps in the US. The timing of the deal is difficult to predict, especially given recent tumult in global markets.”

Also, “it’s hard to say now when we would be able to list the company because we just started mulling the idea. But we hope to move as fast as we can because we’re aware speed is important. What units would be included into the new entity is one of many factors we will be considering.”

A market listing would also be a way to reward and retain employees at Blue Yonder. This is because the company had already filed for its own IPO when Panasonic swooped in with the acquisition. At the time of the deal, Blue Yonder had more than 3,000 customers, including Best Buy Co., Coca-Cola Co. and Walmart Inc.

Change of speed

When we know this new relating to potential IPO of Supply Chain Management company, other news is in our mind, too. One is that LG Energy Solution was spun off from South Korea’s biggest chemical company LG Chem and it went public. The other is that Daimler agreed to evaluate a spin-off of its Truck and Bus business and begins preparations for a separate listing of Daimler Truck.

The news reminds us of the difficulty to run both existing businesses and new businesses. Or we can say that it shows the difficulty to run a business in a rapid growing market and that in a matured market. It seems natural that organizations need different capabilities in each business stage. In the stage of exploration, search, speed, autonomy, flexibility, discovery and variance enhancement are important. On the other hand, in the stage of exploitation, predictability, stability, efficiency, variance reduction and control are crucial.

Therefore, their decision seems very reasonable and make their management easier to dialogue with their shareholders. Also, we think that these decisions reflect the speed in our business environment. In other words, it is accelerating. Thus, management of each company will make more difficult decision for a shorter time. That is why we want to give new insights to them and help them make better decisions.