Hitachi, Matsushita in Joint Venture

Japanese electronics firms Hitachi Ltd., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and Toshiba Corp. said Tuesday that they will form a joint venture to manufacture and sell liquid crystal display, or LCD, panels for flat-screen televisions, beginning in January 2005.

The three companies plan to invest a total of 110 billion yen, or about $1 billion, to build a new LCD-panel manufacturing plant at a Hitachi site in eastern Japan, where Hitachi already operates LCD panel production lines.Hitachi now makes TV-use LCD panels there, but those production lines aren’t as advanced as those run by other LCD panel makers, making it difficult for Hitachi to produce large LCD panels efficiently.

Of the $1 billion investment, Hitachi will contribute about $273.2 million to $318.7 million to the venture, with Matsushita and Toshiba each investing about $136.6 million.The companies also said they will ask other firms, such as television manufacturers who buy LCD panels and LCD panel production equipment makers, to join the alliance.

The joint venture will have a maximum capacity to turn out 2.5 million units a year of LCD panels.

News source: Forbes


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