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JAPANESE electrical giant Matsushita Electric Works, which owns the National Panasonic brand, has bought 80% stake in Mumbai based electrical accessories major Anchor Electricals for Rs 2,000 crore. This, incidentally, is the biggest deal by a Japanese company in India.

Anchor, a Rs 920-crore unlisted privately-held company controlled by the Shah family, will now become a subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Works. The Osaka-based Matsushita is a subsidiary of the Matsushita Electric Industrial Company.

For now, the joint venture will continue to be called Anchor Electricals. The company will also continue to sell products under the brand name Anchor until Matsushita gets a fair understanding of the Indian consumer and the country’s distribution network, top officials said. The reconstituted board will have six representatives from Matsushita and four Shah family members.

Senior Matsushita executive Toshihide Arii will be chairman and CEO of the new venture while Atul Shah will continue as MD. When asked if the Indian family, which has been in business for 45 years, had plans to exit the business in the future, Mr. Shah said: "We are not planning to get out of the business at all. We thought it best to be 20% of a larger global group, rather than be a small entity in a globalised market.”

The joint venture will allow Anchor to expand its product portfolio and access Matsushita’s proprietary technologies. For Matsushita, Anchor is the ideal launch pad to kick off a full-fledged business operation in India. This comes at a time when many Japanese manufacturers are beginning to look outside their home market.

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