Following weeks of rumors about an impending acquisition, supply chain software vendor Blue Yonder has been sold by its private equity owners to the electronics manufacturing giant Panasonic in a $7.1 billion deal.
Panasonic has owned a 20% stake of Scottsdale, Arizona-based Blue Yonder for about a year, and today said it had purchased the remaining 80% in a move that values the entire firm at $8.5 billion, about eight times its revenue for the year ending December 31, 2020.
Following the deal’s expected closing in the second half of 2021, Blue Yonder CEO Girish Rishi and his extended leadership team will join the “Panasonic Connected Solutions Company” division, which was originally created in 2017 to focus on edge and IoT solutions. Blue Yonder will maintain its brand name, going to market as “Blue Yonder, a Panasonic Company.”
Japan-based Panasonic, which has its North American headquarters in Newark, New Jersey, said the move would combine its internet of things (IoT) portfolio with Blue Yonder’s artificial intelligence and machine learning tools, in response to rising needs for "more intelligent, autonomous, and edge-aware supply chains.”
According to Panasonic, that combination will let users unify their supply, demand, and commerce solutions with IoT and edge technologies, and better utilize predictive business insights to pivot their operations in real-time. That vision of an autonomous supply chain has seen rising importance over the past year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the rise of e-commerce, and the proliferation of data, the company said.
“By merging the two companies, we would like to realize a world where waste is autonomously eliminated from all supply chain operations and the cycle of sustainable improvement continues,” Panasonic CEO Yuki Kusumi said in a release. “There are still many such losses and stagnation in supply chain operations, so through the drastic reduction of wasted labor and resources, we would like to provide better ways of working, and contribute to customers’ management reform and also to the realization of a sustainable society by carefully using limited global resources. I am confident that by combining the power of Blue Yonder and Panasonic, we can create innovation in global supply chains.”
The sale marks the end of more than 10 years of ownership by Blue Yonder’s shareholders, the private equity firms New Mountain Capital and funds managed by Blackstone. The company has grown through a series of its own acquisitions over that time, dropping its original name of JDA Software Inc. after buying the German artificial intelligence provider Blue Yonder GmbH in 2018.
More recently, Blue Yonder also linked its transportation management system (TMS) software to the digital freight technology company Loadsmart and bought Yantriks Inc., a provider of cloud-based commerce and fulfillment micro-services, both in 2020.
Exciting news: we've just announced that @Panasonic will acquire supply chain software company @BlueYonder as the need for "more intelligent, autonomous and edge-aware supply chains has been dramatically heightened" over the last year. More below! https://t.co/jXC1g1Ce9H— Panasonic North America (@PanasonicNA) April 23, 2021