Struggling Panasonic Corp plans to cut up to 50% of its workforce in its semiconductor business, or 7,000 employees, by fiscal 2014 through March 2015, as well as sell some of its factories, sources familiar with the plan said Thursday.
Most of the job losses will be overseas, while workers in Japan will be transferred to other businesses, the sources added.
Panasonic has chipmaking plants in China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. It is already in talks with Israel's Tower Jazz, a manufacturer of integrated circuits, about the sale of overseas facilities.
Panasonic's semiconductor business has been losing money amid fierce international competition. The company will shift its resources to auto- and housing-related businesses that are expected to see growth down the road, according to the sources.
Panasonic is also mulling curtailing or ending chipmaking operations at its three mainstay plants in Japan. Its system LSI business is set to be merged with that of Fujitsu Ltd into a new company, the sources said.
Panasonic is expected to book tens of billions of yen in costs for the personnel cut in the current business year through next March.
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