Hitachi, Matsushita finalize LCD panel partnership

Feb. 18, 2008 – Hitachi and Matsushita Electric Industrial (soon to be formally “Panasonic”) have finalized their formal contract involving their proposed LCD panel business alliance, which also involves Canon.

Under terms of the deal, at the end of the current fiscal year (March 31) Matsushita will acquire a 24.9% stake in Hitachi Displays, a subsidiary that makes small and midsize LCD panels, and pay ¥66B (US ~$611M) for the unit’s large LCD panel related business, IPS Alpha Technology, capitalized at ¥100B ($926M). Hitachi will keep majority ownership until the end of March, and will “consider holding” up to a 10% share afterwards.

For Hitachi, the deal will help accelerate development of more leading-edge technologies, and strengthen its position in flat-panel LCD TV manufacturing with more state-of-the-art panels. Matsushita, meanwhile, expands and strengthens its main plasma display panel business, and help build a new ¥300B ($2.78B) plant for IPS Alpha to ensure LCD panel supplies for its VIErA series of FPD TVs (including plasma), and potentially organic light-emitting displays.

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