Apr 23, 2021

Panasonic set to acquire Blue Yonder in $5.6bn deal

Rhys Thomas
2 min
Minority owner Panasonic will purchase remaining 80% stake in supply chain software provider Blue Yonder, valuing the company at $8.5bn
Minority owner Panasonic will purchase remaining 80% stake in supply chain software provider Blue Yonder, valuing the company at $8.5bn...

Supply chain software firm Blue Yonder is set to be acquired by Panasonic in a deal that would value the company at $8.5bn. 

The Japanese electronics giant, which acquired a minority ownership in the business and a seat on the Blue Yonder board in July 2020, is set to pay $5.6bn for the remaining 80% of shares. 

Including repayment of outstanding debt, the additional investment totals $7.1bn, bringing the value of Blue Yonder to $8.5 bn, the company said. Blue Yonder’s other two principal stakeholders are New Mountain Capital and The Blackstone Group.  

The deal has been approved by the boards of both companies and is expected to close by the second half of this financial year, pending regulatory approval. 

“Accelerating the autonomous supply chain”

A statement released today by Blue Yonder branded the deal as “accelerating the autonomous supply chain”. 

“Combining Panasonic’s strength in industrial engineering, IoT and edge technologies with Blue Yonder’s AI/ML-driven supply chain and commerce solutions greatly intensifies the customer value of Blue Yonder’s leading digital fulfillment platform,” the statement read. 

“Together, Panasonic and Blue Yonder will deliver a unique competitive advantage for customers to drive more automation and actionable, real-time business insights that reduce waste and improve operations, while creating a more sustainable world.”

Blue Yonder chief executive Girish Rishi said: “This association came about as a result of three years of working together, first with Panasonic as a Blue Yonder customer and thereafter as joint venture partner. We have developed mutual trust and have a shared vision for an Autonomous Supply Chain that delivers a better life and a better world. As the essential platform for essential times, we are relentlessly focused in fulfilling our customers’ potential.”

Yuki Kusumi, CEO of Panasonic, added that the companies would put their combined expertise towards global supply chain reform and “the realisation of a sustainable society by carefully using limited global resources.” 

“I am confident that by combining the power of Blue Yonder and Panasonic, we can create innovation in global supply chains,” Kusumi added. 

Blue Yonder IPO abandoned?

The new comes just days after Blue Yonder filed documentation with the US Securities and Exchange Commission and signalled its intention to go public, a move that cast doubt over the long-rumoured and reported on acquisition effort on the part of Panasonic. The company confirmed it had filed a Form S-1, though it did not divulge the number of shares it intended to release, or a price range. The move will now be scrapped. 

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May 13, 2021

5 Minutes With: Jim Bureau, CEO Jaggaer

3 min
Jaggaer CEO Jim Bureau talks data, the power of procurement analytics, and supply chain risk management

What is data analytics, and why is it important for organisations to utilise?

Data analytics is the process of collecting, cleansing, transforming and analysing an organisation’s information to identify trends and extract meaningful insights to solve problems. 

The main benefit for procurement teams that adopt analytics is that they’re equipped to make faster, more proactive and effective decisions. Spend analysis and other advanced statistical analyses eliminate the guesswork and reactivity common with spreadsheets and other manual approaches and drive greater efficiency and value. 

As procurement continues to play a central role in organisational success, adopting analytics is critical for improving operations, meeting and achieving key performance indicators, reducing staff burnout, gaining valuable market intelligence and protecting the bottom line. 

How can organisations use procurement analytics to benefit their operations? 

Teams can leverage data analytics to tangibly improve performance across all procurement activities - identifying new savings opportunities, getting a consolidated view of spend, understanding the right time for contract re-negotiations, and which suppliers to tap when prioritising and segmenting suppliers, assessing and addressing supply chain risk and more. 

Procurement can ultimately create a more comprehensive sourcing process that invites more suppliers to the table and gets even more granular about cost drivers and other criteria. 

"The main benefit for procurement teams that adopt analytics is that they’re equipped to make faster, more proactive and effective decisions"

Procurement analytics can provide critical insight for spend management, category management, supplier contracts and negotiations, strategic sourcing, spend forecasting and more. Unilever, for example, used actionable insight from spend analysis to optimise spending, sourcing, and contract negotiations for an especially unpredictable industry such as transport and logistics. 

Whether a team needs to figure out ways to retain cash, further diversify its supply base, or deliver value on sustainability, innovation or diversity initiatives, analytics can help procurement deliver on organisational needs.

How is data analytics used in supply chain and procurement? 

Data analytics encompasses descriptive, diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive data. 

Descriptive shows what’s happened in the past, while diagnostic analytics surface answers to ‘why’ those previous events happened. 

This clear view into procurement operations and trends lays the groundwork for predictive analytics, which forecasts future events, and prescriptive analytics, which recommends the best actions for teams to take based on those predictions. 

Teams can leverage all four types of analytics to gain visibility across the supply chain and identify optimisation and value generating opportunities.

Take on-time delivery (OTD) as an example. Predictive analytics are identifying the probability of whether an order will be delivered on time even before its placed, based on previous events. Combined with recommendation engines that suggest improvement actions, the analytics enable teams to proactively mitigate risk of late deliveries, such as through spreading an order over a second or third source of supply. 

Advanced analytics is a research and development focus for JAGGAER, and we expect procurement’s ability to leverage AI to become even stronger and more impactful.


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