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Panasonic to spin out public company centered on Scottsdale’s Blue Yonder

Phoenix Business Journal

The past year has already been marked by major changes at Scottsdale’s Blue Yonder. Now the company appears headed for the stock market.

Blue Yonder, which makes logistics software, was acquired by Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic last year in a blockbuster $7.1 billion purchase, and now Panasonic is looking to spin out Blue Yonder and its other supply chain management businesses into a public company.

Panasonic declared these plans in a Wednesday announcement, but details are still scarce: The company has not decided which stock exchange the new company would be listed and does not have a specific timeline for when the listing is expected to take place.

This new company will be “centered around” Blue Yonder and its technology with support from Panasonic’s other supply chain businesses. Blue Yonder had previously considered its own public listing before going with the Panasonic acquisition. 

Panasonic said this listing (and the money it would raise) will primarily serve to boost Blue Yonder’s operations. The goal is to improve existing research and development capacity, add funds for mergers and acquisitions and to hire more people in the United States and Europe. 

“The listed company aims to expand on its leadership position by creating solutions that will revolutionize the digital supply chain through R&D, M&A and talent investments to achieve growth plans,” Panasonic said in its announcement.

Panasonic Connect and its CEO Yasu Higuchi will lead the new company. Panasonic Holdings reorganized its corporate structure earlier this year to include eight subsidiary divisions, one of which is Panasonic Connect. Blue Yonder is one of the entities under the Panasonic Connect umbrella.

Panasonic said it will retain the majority of the new company’s voting rights after the public offering is complete.

Blue Yonder sees Q1 revenue increase

Blue Yonder also released some first quarter financial information on Wednesday, including revenue of $289 million through March 31, up $28 million or 11% from the same quarter last year.

“Our performance clearly demonstrates that our customers are responding to today’s disruptions and volatility by leveraging our real-time, end-to-end Luminate Platform and edge-aware solutions to deliver transformative business results.,” Mark Morgan, Blue Yonder’s Interim CEO, said in a statement.

Blue Yonder also said it hired more than 400 people in the first quarter, bringing its global headcount to more than 5,700. The company has about 300 employees in Arizona.

Blue Yonder traces its roots back to the 1980s, when it was known as JDA Software. Girish Rishi was named the company’s CEO in 2017, he was at the helm when the company changed its name to Blue Yonder and he helped secure the Panasonic acquisition before stepping down earlier this year.

Rishi is now the CEO of a Norwegian tech company, and Blue Yonder has yet to name his permanent successor.


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