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Japan Display in talks for $1.8 bln-plus investment from Chinese cos

The company has said it is seeking capital to begin mass-producing OLED screens

Reuters  |  Tokyo 

Japan Display, Japan Display Inc
Japan Display Inc's logo is pictured at its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan | REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

Cash-strapped Display Inc is discussing an investment of more than 200 billion yen ($1.8 billion) from three including Group Co, Kyodo News reported.

Display is aiming to agree to a deal by the end of March, Kyodo said, without citing its source.

The other two firms are Co and Shenzhen China Star Optoelectronics Technology Co (CSOT), Kyodo said.

Display and rival once boasted cutting-edge screen technologies, but they have struggled in recent years to compete with more nimble Asian rivals.

Display has been losing money for the past three years due to weaker liquid crystal display (LCD) prices and as customers including shifted to newer organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens.

The company has said it is seeking capital to begin mass-producing OLED screens in an attempt to catch up with South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, and that it is open to partnerships with rivals including Chinese firms.

A source familiar with the situation said Display would need several hundred billion yen to launch mass production of OLED panels.

Officials at BOE and Tianma did not immediately comment, while Shenzhen China Star declined to comment.

Display declined to comment on the report or disclose the identity of potential investors, which may also include Sharp, now controlled by Taiwan's Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd.

Sharp CEO Tai Jeng-wu said earlier this month the company would ask the government to help it form an alliance with Display to better compete with South Korean rivals.

Japan's state-backed fund INCJ owns 36 percent of Display, which was formed by combining the ailing display units of Sony Corp, Hitachi Ltd and Corp.

Shares of Display jumped as much as 10.1 per cent and were up 6.6 per cent by the end of morning trade, while the Tokyo market was roughly flat.

First Published: Wed, December 20 2017. 13:47 IST