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Sanyo considering selling of mobile phone unit to Kyocera

Kyocera Corp. is in final talks to buy Sanyo Electric Co.’s mobile phone operations, the companies said Thursday.

Under the talks, Kyocera has priority negotiating rights to buy the business, and they will work toward an agreement after assessing the value of Sanyo's assets, the two said in a joint statement.

No price was set for the deal, although the Nikkei reported that Kyocera offered 70 billion yen (US$597 million; EUR422 million).

The long-anticipated sale is a clear sign that Goldman Sachs and other investors, who last year saved Sanyo in a 300 billion yen (US$2.56 billion; EUR1.81 billion) bailout, are finally seeing results.

Sanyo's former president was ousted this spring after he refused to make major changes. Sanyo has already sold its small mobile phone retail business and dumped its remaining holdings in Sanyo Electric Credit Co.

It is also in the final stages of auctioning off its semiconductor business. Together, the three units in the sell-offs accounted for nearly a quarter of its sales last fiscal year.

Sanyo is trying to book a group net profit this fiscal year through March for the first time in four years.

Sanyo, whose businesses are widespread and include TVs and household appliances, has said it sees its solar and battery operations as its core business.

Kyocera, which has close ties with telecommunications company KDDI Corp., has a healthy balance sheet and ample cash on hand.