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Panasonic eyes cooperation with German automakers: President

Panasonic Corp's President Kazuhiro Tsuga poses in front of company logos after an interview with Reuters in Tokyo September 4, 2013. REUTER
Panasonic Corp's President Kazuhiro Tsuga poses in front of company logos after an interview with Reuters in Tokyo September 4, 2013. REUTER

BERLIN (Reuters) - Panasonic is considering joint ventures and cooperation deals with German carmakers, its President said at the IFA trade fair on Tuesday.

The Japanese electronics company, which has suffered $15 billion in losses over its latest two financial years, is staking its turnaround on a transformation from a consumer gadget maker to a supplier for other businesses.

"We already have good relationships with German carmakers," Kazuhiro Tsuga told journalists.

Panasonic could, for instance, cooperate with Volkswagen, Audi, Daimler or Porsche on batteries or security systems. Joint ventures were also a possibility, he said.

"When carmakers request us, we will seriously think about it. But at this moment, there is no such request," he said.

Asked about progress on the planned sale of Panasonic's healthcare business, Tsuga said the process was "getting closer to the end".

He declined to comment on a Reuters report from last week in which sources said Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co was set to gain preferential negotiating rights for a majority stake in the business.

(Reporting by Klaus Lauer; Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by John Stonestreet)

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