Osaka, Japan, February 2, 2006 — Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd [NYSE symbol: MC], best known for its Panasonic brand, today announced that its consolidated subsidiary MEI Holding Inc. (MHI) will sell all of its shares of Universal Studios Holding I Corp. (USHI), a holding company for Universal Music Group, Universal Interactive, a minority interest in NBC-Universal, to Vivendi Universal S.A. (VU), the majority holder of USHI. The company also announced that it will begin liquidation procedures for MHI upon completion of the sale of the USHI shares. Matsushita currently owns 7.66% of the total issued shares of USHI.
As a result of Matsushita’s relationship with Universal over the past fifteen years, the company has made significant progress in such areas as business relationships with the film and music industries, the establishment of recordable media format standards, including DVD, and development of copyright protection technologies. In recent years, however, the spread of online distribution of video content and rapid progress in diversified distribution methods has necessitated neutral partnerships with multiple content providers, whereby it is no longer strategically important to maintain capital ties with any particular business partner.
Under such circumstances, Matsushita finalized and signed a definitive agreement with VU regarding the sale of the USHI shares, and accordingly decided to begin closing/liquidation procedures for MHI, thereby ending Matsushita’s capital relationship with Universal-related businesses. Matsushita intends to strategically utilize cash flows provided by this sale to further enhance corporate value from a global perspective.