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Transfer to SANYO Electric Co., Ltd of Toshiba Group's Nickel Metal Hydride Battery Business Complete

27 April, 2001


SANYO Electric Co., Ltd.
Toshiba Corporation
Toshiba Battery Co., Ltd.

Tokyo April 27, 2001-- SANYO Electric Co., Ltd., a world leader in battery technology, has announced the completion on April 27th of the successful transfer of the Toshiba Group's Nickel Metal Hydride battery business to SANYO based on the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between SANYO, Toshiba Corporation and Toshiba Battery Co., Ltd. agreed upon in October of 2000. Under the agreement, Toshiba Battery Takasaki factory, the manufacturing base for the Toshiba Group's Nickel Metal Hydride battery business, will be newly inaugurated as SANYO Energy Takasaki Co., Ltd. (referred to below as SANYO Energy Takasaki) at which SANYO Energy Takasaki will continue the Nickel Metal Hydride battery production.

SANYO Electric Co., Ltd. has been a world leader in the rechargeable battery industry beginning production of Nickel Cadmium batteries in 1964, Nickel Metal Hydride batteries in 1990, Lithium Ion batteries in 1994, and Lithium Polymer batteries in 1999. The Nickel Metal Hydride battery market has seen a rapid increase in demand as a power source for mobile phones and notebook computers. In the future, in addition to the use in information telecommunication devices the demand for Nickel Metal Hydride batteries is expected to increase as a power source for Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV). SANYO has moved ahead in the development of Nickel Metal Hydride batteries for HEV and as was announced earlier this year, was selected as the sole supplier of Nickel Metal Hydride battery systems for the Ford Motor Company's first HEV sports utility vehicle the Escape HEV. Together with Nickel Cadmium and Lithium Ion batteries, will continue in the future to develop the Nickel Metal Hydride battery business as an important element of SANYO's rechargeable battery business. With this in mind SANYO has been looking to develop a more rapid, flexible structure in order to increase production as well as dispersing its manufacturing bases for improved risk management.

The Toshiba Group's rechargeable battery business unit began production of Nickel Metal Hydride batteries in 1991 and currently is ranked third in market share for the Nickel Metal Hydride battery. Toshiba group's A&T Battery Corporation began production of the Lithium Ion battery that has seen noticeable growth in mobile related devices in 1992. However the Toshiba group came to the conclusion that in terms of Nickel Metal Hydride battery business, due to stiff competition for mobile phone batteries, in order to continue development of its Nickel Metal Hydride battery business a strong partner outside of the Toshiba group would be necessary. Based on these mutual needs, the three companies reached an agreement in October 2000 which business transfer was successfully completed today.

Through this transfer of Nickel Metal Hydride battery business, SANYO Electric Co., Ltd. has cemented its position with the industry top share for Nickel Metal Hydride batteries allowing it to further strengthen its rechargeable battery business. This move will allow the Toshiba Group to concentrate management resources in its areas of strength in Lithium Ion batteries for mobile devices and move aggressively to develop this area of business.

This transfer, which was scheduled to be completed by the end of March, was postponed to April 27th because it took more time than expected to audit.

For Reference

New Company Profile

Company NameSANYO Energy Takasaki Co., Ltd.
LocationTakasaki City, Gunma, Japan
RepresentativeShinji Fujita (President) (present: Toshiba Battery Co., Ltd. Advisor)
Capitalization30 million yen
InvestmentOwned 100 percent by SANYO Electric Co., Ltd.
Production itemsNickel Metal Hydride battery
Number of Employee430

For Press Contact

SANYO Electric Co., Ltd.
PR Center
TEL: 03-3837-6206

Toshiba Corporation
Corporate Communications Office
TEL: 03-3457-2105

Toshiba Battery Co., Ltd.
General Affairs, Public Relations Head
TEL: 03-5460-5322


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