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Panasonic prepares to offload main security camera plant

Japanese group cutting costs in segment, shifting from hardware to software

Panasonic will focus on developing advanced facial recognition software in its security camera business.

TOKYO -- Panasonic looks to close first-round bidding in early April for the sale of a Chinese security camera factory as the company moves to cut costs in a business that has struggled to gain a foothold outside Japan.

The Japanese manufacturer contacted investment funds and other potential buyers for the core production center in the Chinese city of Suzhou. Likely candidates include U.S. equity fund Carlyle Group and British funds Permira and CVC Capital Partners. Panasonic anticipates gaining somewhere over 50 billion yen ($471 million) from the sale, and may end discussions if it does not receive an agreeable bid.

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