Yamada Denki Co., Japan's leading electric appliance retailer, said Aug. 12 it will acquire up to 59 percent of shares of SxL Co., turning the midsize housing manufacturer into a subsidiary.
Acquiring the company will allow Yamada to enter the "smart housing" market, including the installation of solar panels and storage batteries in newly built houses.
Yamada will make a takeover bid for SxL's shares starting on Aug. 15. It will also acquire SxL's newly issued shares to enhance its stake. The acquisition is expected to cost Yamada about 7.4 billion yen ($97 million).
The smart housing market has been rapidly expanding after energy shortages following the Great East Japan Earthquake sparked a boom in energy conservation.
Yamada plans to recommend combinations of housing, solar panels and home electric appliances to customers visiting its stores. Yamada also hopes to gain expertise on housing and is seeking to jointly develop home appliances with manufacturers.
Major home appliance retailers are concerned about a possible dip in sales following the end of eco-points, which finished at the end of March for energy-saving home appliances and at the end of July for energy-saving homes. The switch from analog TV broadcasting to digital terrestrial on July 24, across all prefectures but the three hit worst by the tsunami--Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima--is also expected to have an impact on sales.
Yamada, which sees energy-saving products as an engine for growth, has started selling electric vehicles and storage batteries for household use.
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