Panasonic Selling Tokyo Building as Part of Turnaround

March 6 (Bloomberg) -- Panasonic Corp. is selling a building in Tokyo for about 50 billion yen ($537 million) as the electronics maker tries to recover from losses of more than 1.3 trillion yen in the past two years.

Japan’s No. 2 TV maker is selling the office building in Tokyo’s Shiodome ward, Megumi Kitagawa, a spokeswoman, said by phone. Sumitomo Mitsui Finance & Leasing Co. will acquire 90 percent of the rights to the property, and Nippon Building Fund Inc. said it would acquire the remaining 10 percent.

The sale of the building is already reflected in Panasonic’s fiscal-year forecasts, Kitagawa said yesterday. The maker of Viera TVs is cutting jobs and reducing the number of business units after posting a 772 billion-yen net loss in the year ended March 2012 amid competition with Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.

Panasonic predicts a net loss of 765 billion yen this fiscal year. The company will stay in the building after the sale and have a 10-year lease, Kitagawa said.

Panasonic rose 0.3 percent to 661 yen in Tokyo trading yesterday. The stock has climbed 27 percent this year after sliding 20 percent in 2012 and 43 percent in 2011.

Nippon Building Fund, Japan’s biggest real estate investment trust, is part of a group that last month bought a Tokyo office building from Sony Corp. for 111.1 billion yen. Kenichi Tanaka, president and chief executive officer of Nippon Building Fund Management Ltd., which manages the REIT, said in a November interview the fund planned to buy more assets on expectations that office rents in Tokyo would rebound.

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