Pioneer bought by Hong Kong fund

TOKYO, Dec 7 — Japanese electronics firm Pioneer said today it will become a wholly owned unit of a Hong Kong-based fund to rebuild itself in a deal worth US$904 million (RM3.7 billion).

Pioneer, known for its audio equipment as well as car electronics systems, said Baring Private Equity Asia has agreed on a ¥102-billion plan to revive the struggling Tokyo-based company.

Baring will make a ¥77 billion investment in Pioneer, along with a ¥25 billion offer to buy existing shares from shareholders.

“These steps will secure working capital vital for Pioneer’s business operations,” a joint statement from the two firms said.

“Once privatised, a range of significant changes will be made to revitalise Pioneer, including reviews of the company’s business lines as well as structural reforms and an overhaul of the management team,” it said.

The deal is subject to approvals from Pioneer shareholders as well as regulatory agencies.

Pioneer, which celebrated its 80th anniversary this year, expanded from the 1960s through the 1990s with popular home stereo systems as well as car audio equipment.

It was among the leading companies to promote laser discs and plasma televisions.

But Pioneer has struggled in recent years with deep losses and falling sales as the audio and automobile industries go through rapid changes. — AFP

Source: The Malay Mail Online

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