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Matsushita, Toshiba to merge CRT operations

Posted: 30 Sep 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:matsushita electric ind.? toshiba? lcd? crt? pdp?

After merging their LCD operations in April, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. and Toshiba Corp. have decided to combine their CRT businesses into a joint venture company with roughly $225 million in annual sales.

The two companies have announced that they have agreed to integrate their CRT R&D, production and sales by March 2003 into a joint venture company that has not yet been named.

Matsushita's CRT operation presently produces 17 million units per year and Toshiba's produces 13 million per year. The combined operations will create the world's third-largest CRT supplier with a 13.4 percent market share, behind Samsung Electronics with a 15.3 percent share and LG Philips with a 24.4 percent share, according to Matsushita's estimates.

Matsushita will own 60 percent of the venture and Toshiba will own 40 percent. The two companies intend to fuse their technologies and to focus on growing markets in China and other areas of Asia, which are showing growth rates of about 4 percent in the saturated CRT market.

The integration will exclude some pieces of the companies' CRT operations, however. Their domestic production bases are not included, for example, mainly because of differences in conditions of employment. Those operations will be run by their respective parent companies, and their output will be supplied to the joint venture.

The companies' overseas manufacturing operations will be integrated into the venture, including Matsushita's factories in China, the United States, Germany and Malaysia, and Toshiba's factories in the United States, Thailand, and Indonesia. Post-integration redundancies are expected in the U.S. and Japanese production operations, but Matsushita and Toshiba have not commented on a future restructuring plan.

Matsushita and Toshiba in April had established the jointly-owned MT Display Procurement Co. Ltd. to procure materials and components for CRT production. This company will be integrated into the new joint venture.

Along with their integration of LCD operations, which was completed earlier this year, most of the two companies' display efforts have been merged. Still untouched are Matsushita's PDPs. Toshiba does not carry PDPs; Matsushita will continue to run its PDP operations on its own.

- Yoshiko Hara

EE Times

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