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Sony, Hitachi, Toshiba and INCJ To Integrate Display Businesses

TOKYO: A consortium of Japan’s largest electronics makers have agreed to combine their small- and medium-sized display businesses. Sony, Toshiba, Hitachi and Innovation Network Corporation of Japan or INCJ, announced that they have signed definitive agreements to integrate the businesses in a new company to be established and operated by INCJ, which is planned to be named Japan Display Inc.

Pursuant to the definitive agreements, all of the issued shares of certain subsidiaries of Hitachi, Sony and Toshiba engaged in the small- and medium-sized display business (i.e., Hitachi Displays, Ltd., Sony Mobile Display Corp. and one other Sony subsidiary, and Toshiba Mobile Display Co., Ltd.) and other assets are planned to be transferred to Japan Display, in which each of the four companies will invest. INCJ, a public-private partnership, will invest a total of 200 billion yen (US$25.8 million) in Japan Display in exchange for shares to be newly issued as a third-party allotment. INCJ will have a 70 percent voting share; Hitachi, Sony and Toshiba will each have 10 percent. Shuichi Otsuka will serve as CEO.

Japan Display is expected to use best technologies of the contributors and establish new production lines with funds provided by INCJ, to meet the market demand. In addition, through efficient use of the existing production capabilities of the contributing companies, Japan Display “aims to improve its cost competitiveness to solidify its position as a global leading company in the small- and medium-sized display market,” the companies said.

Hitachi Displays employs around 2,600 people; Sony Mobile Display and Toshiba Mobile Display, around 2,200 each.

The Sony display business includes development, design, production and sales of small/mid-sized LCD devices and organic light-emitting diode display devices. Sony said it plans to transfer its small- and medium-sized LCD device business to Sony Mobile Display Corp., while the OLED display device business will be transferred to Sony or its subsidiary with the exception of part of the OLED display device production process.