Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic said on Friday (April 23) that it has agreed to acquire Blue Yonder, the end-to-end digital fulfillment platform provider. The deal, which PYMNTS reported last month, comes at a time when a surge in eCommerce has boosted demand for technology to smooth the process of moving goods from suppliers to retailers to customers.
According to a news release, Panasonic is expected to purchase 80 percent of shares ($5.6 billion) of Blue Yonder. When including the payment of outstanding debt, the cost increases to $7.1 billion. Existing shareholder New Mountain Capital will purchase the remaining shares, with funds managed by Blackstone.
With the rise of eCommerce and the proliferation of data in the wake of COVID-19, there has been a greater need for more intelligent and edge-aware software supply chains.
This acquisition builds on the two companies’ existing strategic relationship, which was established in January of 2019. In November of 2019, Panasonic and Blue Yonder formed a joint venture company in Japan. This past July, Panasonic took a 20 percent minority ownership and one seat on the board of directors at Blue Yonder.
Blue Yonder provides an end-to-end platform driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) that provides a “system of intelligence” for its retail, manufacturing and logistics customers. Its cloud-based Luminate platform aims to streamline the management of all aspects of the supply chain on a single platform.
Together, both companies aim to provide customers with a competitive advantage by driving “more automation and actionable, real-time business insights that reduce waste and improve operations,” the press release said.
For the year that ended Dec. 31, 2020, Blue Yonder revenue was over $1 billion, 67 percent of which was recurring revenue. During this period, SaaS annual revenue was $343 million and the SaaS net revenue retention rate was 120 percent.
Last month, PYMNTS reported that the purchase would mark the latest move in Panasonic’s transformation from a consumer products manufacturer, while underscoring the increased importance of supply chain management in day-to-day digital retailing and operations.
PYMNTS also reported that anything from groceries to vaccines, this past year has been a study in managing surging demand and the need to make fast decisions to streamless sales, manufacturing and distribution challenges that are happening on different continents.