TODAY’S – Panasonic sees regional expansion with Viko acquisition

Panasonic sees regional expansion with Viko acquisitionDetails about the recent acquisition of Viko by Japanese electronics giant Panasonic were explained by one of the companyand#39s executive officers, Toshihide Arii, who has stated that Panasonic acquired it in order to expand into neighboring countries of Turkey where Viko has already been the market leader or possesses a considerable share in the electrical wiring devices industry.The Japanese electronics conglomerate announced in October 2013 that it had signed an agreement with Viko, a leading player in the region, with almost half of its production exported to more than 70 countries.

The announcement read that Panasonic would allocate its funds for the purchase of 90 percent of the companyand#39s shares for $460 million, and the company finalized the acquisition in February of this yearSpeaking to Todayand#39s Zaman in a joint interview with CEO of Viko Nusret Kayhan ApaydIn, Arii underlined that Viko is strategically important for Panasonic ahead of its 100th anniversary in 2018. By then Panasonic plans to move from second place to the largest producer of wiring devices in the world.

A Japanese national with a wide range of experience in Panasonicand#39s subsidiaries abroad, Arii, the new chairman of Viko, commented on the acquisition and the companyand#39s future.When asked why Panasonic opted for acquisition instead of other types of investment in the Turkish market, Arii said Viko was the market leader in Turkey as well as in Ukraine and Kazakhstan, and for this reason Panasonic did not feel it had the capacity to compete with Viko and it acquired it instead.

Highlighting that Panasonic has long been expanding into Western countries with partnerships and acquisitions, Arii stressed that the Japanese producer will apply the same strategy in Vikoand#39s case that it followed in the acquisition of Indian-based electrical accessories manufacturer Anchor Like Anchor, Arii underlined that Viko will continue to operate under the same name.Arii also pointed out that while Panasonic will bring expertise to its Turkish subsidiary in the future, it will benefit from Vikoand#39s own experience in Turkey as well as surrounding countries.

He said Panasonic is currently producing to American standards in Japan it gained knowledge of British standards in India after the acquisition of Anchor electronics and now it is planning to produce electrical wiring equipment, switches, sockets, circuit breakers and other devices to European standards with Viko.Talking about the difficulties stemming from the cultural differences between Japanese and Turkish businessmen, Arii stated that the only problem Panasonic has faced so far is language.

On the other hand, he added, regional developments such as the aance of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and conflicts in Ukraine may pose a problem for business in Turkey if they continue to destabilize the region.ApaydIn also commented on the acquisition process, saying it was a challenge for Viko to experience a change in management.

Regarding the possibility of cultural incompatibility, ApaydIn underlined that the culture of Japan is more similar to Turkish culture than the cultures of European countries.In addition ApaydIn highlighted that a reciprocal relationship between Panasonic and Viko has developed, where a combination of strengths yielded several joint projects such as remote control systems, power line communication systems, smart meters and others.

Acknowledging the magnitude of Panasonicand#39s worldwide market, ApaydIn said Viko has the largest share in the wiring device industry in Angola, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.Viko, with its innovative and high quality wiring devices, was listed in 318th place in the ISO 500 (Turkeyand#39s largest 500 companies) list in 2013.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman