Wednesday, 17 Jul 2019

Denso reported to be considering making a US$440 million investment in JOLED

JOLED said the company was in talks with various materials and equipment manufacturers about investment, but that nothing specific had been decided

28 Dec 2017 | Editor

Denso Corp is considering a 50 billion yen (US$440 million) investment in OLED panel manufacturer - JOLED, according to various news reports from Kyodo news, Reuters and Digitimes .

JOLED, majority owned by a state-backed technology investment fund, announced they sold their first commercial OLED screens in Dec 2017 (see JOLED has begun commercial shipment of the world's first printed RGB OLED Panels), and has said it wants to raise 100 billion yen by the end of March to expand its currently limited capacity.

The move comes amid the growing popularity for OLED screens, which are generally thinner and can show more vivid colours than LCD panels. Smartphone manufacturers have been moving to OLED displays - Apple Inc has finally adopted OLED displays in the flagship phone the iPhone X.

This has left cash-strapped domestic display makers such as Japan Display Inc, which has a 15 percent stake in JOLED, and rival Sharp Corp struggling to respond to the shift, enabling Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and LG Display Co Ltd take the lead.

Earlier this month Japan Display was rumoured to be considered investing in JOLED but decided it did not have the funds.

Japan Display has said it wants to start mass-producing OLED screens to better compete with Samsung and that it needs capital to do so but has so far declined to disclose details of any negotiations.

The news reports are suggesting both Sony Corp and Panasonic Corp, which both own 5 percent in JOLED, are expected to invest 5 billion to 10 billion yen each.

Sumitomo Chemical Co and Screen Holdings Co are considering chipping in, and the four companies are together seen investing 20 billion to 40 billion yen in JOLED, Kyodo said.

A JOLED representative said the company was in talks with various materials and equipment makers about the investment, but that nothing specific had been decided.

So far no one associated with the deal has confirmed the potential investment:

  • A Denso spokesman said the reported plan wasn't something the company announced
  • A Screen Holdings spokeswoman denied the company was considering the investment
  • Sony said nothing had been decided
  • Panasonic and Sumitomo Chemical declined to comment

www.digitimes.com    www.j-oled.com    www.denso.com    www.reuters.com   

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