We already knew it was going to happen, but Panasonic confirmed late Friday that it is on the verge of buying out rival electronics maker Sanyo.

Although nothing is set yet, the two firms had to act to head off growing speculation after rumours began last weekend.

Technically, the pair are in talks about making Sanyo a subsidiary of Panasonic, although that would involve the larger Panasonic buying the smaller company's shares.

Gorilla offspring

Combined, the two existing enterprises have sales of almost £72 billion, a figure that would represent one of the largest electronics companies in the world if it were for a single firm.

A joint statement explained the thinking behind the move: "We aim to share both companies' management know-how and business resources while collaborating with each other, thereby creating a global competitive foundation."

Meanwhile, the mood inside Sanyo remained upbeat. One employee told us: "No one's worried about the future, as Sanyo is a strong brand that won't be going away."