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Hitachi, Sony, Toshiba to merge LCD ops

Posted: 04 Jul 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:LCD? manufacturing operations? large-size LCDs?

Reuters Group Ltd has reported that Japan's Hitachi Ltd has declared that it wants to merge the manufacturing operations of its small and mid-size LCD panelscommonly used in smartphones and tabletswith those of Toshiba Corp. and Sony Corp.

Sony and Toshiba were already in consultation with the Innovation Network Corp. of Japan (INCJ) to merge their LCD operations, the report stated.

Hitachi had been negotiating the sale of a majority stake in its small-LCD business to contract electronics manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry of Taiwan, otherwise known as Foxconn, according to a Financial Times report. INCJ's willingness to contribute more than a billion dollars in Japanese LCD manufacturing may explain Hitachi's desire to get involved in a Japanese joint venture.

If the agreement pushes through, which is expected to be finalized by July according to Reuters, the INCJ may double its previous investment plan and provide about $2.5 billion (200 billion yen). This represents a 70 percent stake in the super-company, with Hitachi, Sony and Toshiba dividing the remaining 30 percent among them.

The move is seen as an attempt to prevent mistakes with regard to large-size LCDs for TVs. Japan largely lost out in this market because manufacturing was split among numerous Japanese consumer electronics companies.

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times

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