Conclusion of Formal Contract Between Hitachi and Matsushita Related to Comprehensive LCD Panel Business Alliance
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Conclusion of Formal Contract Between Hitachi and Matsushita Related to Comprehensive LCD Panel Business Alliance - JCN Newswire
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Conclusion of Formal Contract Between Hitachi and Matsushita Related to Comprehensive LCD Panel Business Alliance

Tokyo, Feb 15, 2008 - (JCN Newswire) - Hitachi, Ltd. (NYSE: HIT / TSE: 6501, "Hitachi") and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (NYSE: MC / TSE: 6752, "Matsushita") today announced the conclusion of a formal contract related to a comprehensive liquid crystal display (LCD) panel business alliance. A basic agreement regarding this alliance was reached on December 25, 2007 by Hitachi, Matsushita, and Canon Inc. (NYSE: CAJ / TSE: 7751, "Canon").

Under the terms of this agreement, Matsushita will acquire a 24.9% stake in Hitachi Displays, Ltd. ("Hitachi Displays"), a wholly owned Hitachi subsidiary that makes small and medium-sized LCD panels, from Hitachi by March 31, 2008, pending regulatory approval. As the next step going forward, Matsushita will acquire for 66 billion yen large IPS LCD panel-related businesses, including the total issued shares of IPS Alpha Technology, Ltd. (Fumiaki Yonai, President; "IPS Alpha"), owned by Hitachi Displays once all conditions are met. Meanwhile, Hitachi will consider holding the IPS Alpha's share up to 10%. IPS Alpha designs, manufactures, and sells large-sized LCD panels for TVs. Until this deal is executed, Hitachi Displays will retain majority ownership of IPS Alpha. However, under U.S. accounting standards, IPS Alpha will become a Matsushita consolidated subsidiary as of March 31, 2008.

Hitachi possesses a range of sophisticated liquid crystal-related technologies that includes IPS technology, which has earned accolades worldwide for enabling high picture quality and wide viewing angles, and other advanced panel features. Through this alliance, Hitachi seeks to accelerate the development of cutting-edge technologies. Furthermore, as a TV manufacturer, Hitachi plans to strengthen its competitiveness in the flat-panel LCD TV business by using state-of-the-art LCD panels to develop the world's thinnest flat-panel LCD TV and its "Wooo UT series" of ultra-thin flat-panel LCD TVs. In addition, by working to optimally allocate business resources in order to establish a stable, high-profit structure, Hitachi will advance its basic management policy of "Collaborative Creation and Profits."

Matsushita is further expanding and strengthening its mainline PDP operations. In addition, it will deepen its involvement in the operations of IPS Alpha, which designs, manufactures, and sells large-sized LCD panels used in TVs. At the same time, Matsushita will play a key role in the construction of a new IPS Alpha plant in cooperation with the Hitachi Group in a bid to ensure a stable supply of LCD panels.

Matsushita's aim is to leverage the outstanding performance and cost advantages of the "IPS Alpha Panel" to boost the competitiveness of its entire range of VIErA series flat-panel TVs, which also includes plasma TVs. Going forward, Matsushita will continue its aggressive vertical integration of its flat-panel TV business, and it sees the new IPS Alpha plant as a possible future base for the production of organic light-emitting displays.

Hitachi and Canon are currently working to finalize a formal contract as well.

1. Outline of Hitachi Displays
1) Company name Hitachi Displays, Ltd. 2) President Yoshiyuki Imoto 3) Headquarter Kanda Neribei-cho 3, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan 4) Established October 1, 2002 5) Main businesses Design, manufacture, and sales of small and medium-sized LCD panels and related products, as well as maintenance and services 6) Fiscal year-end March 31 7) No. of employees 11,974 (as of March 31, 2007) 8) Capital 35,274.5 million yen 9) Ownership Hitachi 100% 10) Sales 200.3 billion yen (FY 2006, Consolidated) 2. Outline of IPS Alpha Technology
1) Company name IPS Alpha Technology, Ltd. 2) President Fumiaki Yonai 3) Headquarter 3732, Hayano, Mobara City, Chiba Pref., Japan 4) Established January 1, 2005 5) Main businesses Design, manufacture, sales and related maintenance & services for IPS LCD panels 6) Fiscal year-end March 31 7) No. of employees 658 (as of March 31, 2007) 8) Capital 100.0 billion (inc 50.0 bil of capital reserves) 9) Ownership Hitachi Displays: 50%; Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.: 30%; Toshiba Corporation: 15%; Development Bank of Japan Technology and New Business Creation Fund and others: 5% *Note: From March 31, 2008, the shareholdings will be as follows: Hitachi Displays (50%), Matsushita (45%), and Development Bank of Japan and others (5%) 10) Sales 34.6 billion yen (FY 2006, Unconsolidated) Two-year summary of business results (millions of yen, unconsolidated) ----------------------------------------------------------------------- FY 2005 FY 2006 ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Sales - 34,612 Operating Income (loss) (3,241) (25,362) Ordinary Income (loss) (5,130) (25,406) Net Income (loss) (5,135) (25,414) Total Assets 72,486 122,999 Net Assets 9,355 39,050 Dividend per Share (yen) - - ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 3. Outline of Matsushita's IPS LCD Panel Business for TVs

(1) Background
Market for flat-panel TV has been growing 12 percent in annual average on a global basis. It is expected that by 2015, it will be grown to the huge market exceeding 85% of total market sale of TVs, and over 2 hundred million units. At the same time, preferred size of TV screen is becoming larger - 37 inch and above, and that is expected to account for more than 50% of overall demand of flat-panel TV by 2009. In order to cope with the growing market of the large-sized flat-panel TV, diversifying needs of customers and regional needs, it is vital to establish a strong and stable foundation of the flat-panel TV operation. Matsushita sees that it is essential to ensure a stable source to procure LCD panels up to the size of 40 inch class in mid-to long term range. In addition, Matsushita plans to build a new plant, taking it into consideration to produce organic electro luminescence display, which has started getting attention as a key device for post-LCD display.

(2) Overview of the Panel Business
Construction will begin on a new IPS Alpha LCD panel plant to ensure a stable supply of LCD panels over the medium and long terms. Construction is slated to begin in August 2008, with the plant operational in January 2010.

The total cost of the plant is expected to be approximately JPY 300.0 billion.

4. Effect on business results

Hitachi is currently analyzing the likely impact on its earnings, and will announce when it is clear.

There will be no impact on Matsushita's earnings in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2008.

About Panasonic

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and engineering of electronic technologies and solutions for customers in residential, non-residential, mobility and personal applications. Since its founding in 1918, the company has expanded globally and now operates over 500 consolidated companies worldwide, recording consolidated net sales of 7.30 trillion yen for the year ended March 31, 2013. Committed to pursuing new value through innovation across divisional lines, the company strives to create a better life and a better world for its customers. For more information about Panasonic, please visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net/ .

About Hitachi

Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 320,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2011 (ended March 31, 2012) consolidated revenues totaled 9,665 billion yen ($117.8 billion). Hitachi will focus more than ever on the Social Innovation Business, which includes information and telecommunication systems, power systems, environmental, industrial and transportation systems, and social and urban systems, as well as the sophisticated materials and key devices that support them. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at http://www.hitachi.com/.

Contact:

Hitachi, Ltd.
Setsuko Minamikawa / Takeshi Kawakami
Public Relations
Corporate Communications Division
Tel: +81-3-5208-9325
Fax: +81-3-4564-2149
E-mail: setsuko.minamikawa.kk@hitachi.com
takeshi.kawakami.mk@hitachi.com

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
Akira Kadota
International PR
Tel: +81-3-3578-1237
Fax: +81-3-3436-6766
Panasonic News Bureau
Tel: +81-3-3542-6205
Fax: +81-3-3542-9018
Makoto Mihara
Investor Relations
Tel: +81-6-6908-1121
Fax: +81-6-6908-2351
 


Feb 15, 2008
Source: Panasonic

Panasonic (TSE: 6752) (U.S: PC)
Hitachi (TSE: 6501) (U.S: HIT)

From the Japan Corporate News Network
http://www.japancorp.net
Topic: Press release summary


 
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