Seiko Epson Corporation and SANYO Electric Co., Ltd. have announced that they would merge their liquid crystal businesses to form a new company. The new company will be known as SANYO EPSON IMAGING DEVICES CORPORATION and is planned to begin operations in October 2004. Epson will hold 55% of the joint venture, and SANYO 45%. The new entity will aim to become a leading manufacturer of small and medium-sized LCDs for mobile phones, digital cameras, and for use in automobiles.
SANYO EPSON IMAGING DEVICES CORPORATION will combine the various liquid crystal businesses of Epson, SANYO, Tottori SANYO Electric Co., Ltd. (“Tottori SANYO”), and SANYO LCD Engineering Co., Ltd. (“SANYO LCD Engineering”).
In recent years, the market for color LCDs has expanded rapidly from PC monitors to new applications such as LCD TVs, mobile phones, digital cameras, and for use in automobiles. The ensuing entry of a large number of manufacturers to the market has resulted in intense price competition. Pressed by the need to develop new products in short cycles and panels with ever-higher performance, manufacturers are faced with massive demands for investment in research and development and manufacturing facilities.
Against this background, the new company will aim to combine and create synergy between Epson and SANYO, notably in the various technical specialties of the two companies including miniaturization technologies, the creation of high quality, high-resolution displays, and volume production expertise. Supplying high-performance and cost-effective LCDs, SANYO EPSON IMAGING DEVICES CORPORATION seeks to become a major player in the market for small- and medium-sized LCDs. Demand for such displays is forecast to grow, with market size in 2005 forecast (*1) at 440 million units for mobile phones (compared to 280 million units in 2003), 70 million units for digital cameras (50 million units in 2003), and 7.6 million units for use in automobiles (5 million units).
The following locations will fall under the auspices of the new company.
–Epson’s Toyoshina Plant in Nagano Prefecture, Japan (manufacture of D-TFD (*2) and STN LCDs)
–The Tottori Plant of Tottori SANYO in Tottori Prefecture, Japan (manufacture of LTPS TFT and amorphous TFT LCDs), the Gifu Plant of SANYO LCD Engineering (manufacture of LTPS LCDs) in Gifu Prefecture, Japan, and part of SANYO.
Epson’s HTPS TFT and OLED businesses and SANYO’s OLED business will not be affected by this merger.
The new company will absorb Epson’s liquid crystal business, while the merger of the LCD operations of SANYO, Tottori SANYO, and SANYO LCD Engineering will involve a transfer of operations.
Refer to the attachment for details of the new company.
*1: Figures based on forecasts by Epson and SANYO. *2: D-TFD: Digital-Thin Film Diode, STN: Super-twisted nematicLTPS: Low temperature polysilicon, TFT: Thin film transistorHTPS: High temperature polysilicon, OLED: Organic light-emitting displays
About Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.
SANYO Electric Co., Ltd. (TSE: 6764)(US: SANYY) is one of the world’s major consumer electronics companies. Leading the way in innovations that expand the scope of multimedia product technology, SANYO continues to advance business enterprise development supplying world-class electronic products to satisfy rapidly evolving markets. SANYO’s businesses cover a broad range of multimedia and information systems, home appliances, commercial equipment, electronic devices, batteries and other products. SANYO’s net sales in the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2003, amounted to 2,182.6 billion yen (US$18,188 million). The SANYO group is truly an international organization, comprising 84 manufacturing companies, 37 sales companies and 39 other companies worldwide. For further information, please visit the Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. home page at: www.sanyo.co.jp/koho/index_e.html
About Seiko Epson
Seiko Epson is an electrical equipment maker which recently listed on TSE1. The company has strength in printers and other hardware. For further information, please visit the Seiko Epson home page at: www.epson.co.jp
Seiko Epson Corp.
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SANYO Electric Co., Ltd.
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