Panasonic has begun talks to take control of rival Sanyo, according to Nikkei business daily reports.

Panasonic plans to start negotiations with three major Sanyo shareholders, Goldman Sachs, Daiwa Securities SMBC, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp this month, and could reach a basic agreement this year, the newspaper said.

Reuters states that Sanyo is the world's top maker of lithium-ion batteries used in laptops and mobile phones as well as a major player in the solar power market.

Buying Sanyo would mean Panasonic would bolster its battery business and "gain a foothold into the promising solar market", the Nikkei said.