Toshiba is planning to buy a one-fifth stake in LG.Philips LCD’s Polish subsidiary in order to ensure a steady supply of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels for European televisions, it said Tuesday.
The Japanese electronics company will invest about 5.5 billion yen (US$46.2 million) to acquire the stake in LG.Philips LCD Poland, which is constructing an LCD module plant near Wroclaw. The plant will take LCD panels produced at a factory in South Korea and add additional components including backlights and driver chips to produce a finished LCD module. The finished modules are then ready to be combined with other components such as tuners, power supplies and cases to form finished televisions.
By investing in the LCD module plant operator, Toshiba will be able to ensure a steady of supply of modules for its new LCD TV factory, which is being built on an adjacent plot.
LG.Philips LCD broke ground on the new Polish plant earlier this year and expects to begin mass production of LCD modules in March 2007. It will have an initial capacity of 3 million modules per year, and this will rise to full capacity of 11 million modules per year by 2011, according to the company.
Toshiba is planning to begin producing LCD TVs at its new factory in August 2007. It expects to procure panels more than 50 inches in size from the LG.Philips LCD factory.
On the back of strong demand in Europe, Toshiba said it hopes to produce about 3 million LCD TVs in Europe by fiscal 2009. They will be produced at the plant in Poland and at Toshiba Information Systems in the United Kingdom.
-Martyn Williams, IDG News Service (Tokyo Bureau)
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