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Japan Display hopes to raise over 200 bil. yen from foreign investors

Japan Display Inc. plans to raise more than 200 billion yen
($1.8 billion) from foreign investors to finance the development of
advanced display panel technology, sources close to the matter said

Chinese display panel maker BOE Technology Group Co. has
expressed an interest, while Tianma Microelectronics Co., also of
China, and Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., parent company of
Sharp Corp., have also shown willing, the sources said.

Japan Display hopes to find an investor by the end of the year
and raise as much as 300 billion yen to speed up development of
organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, displays that are expected to
gain popularity among smartphone makers after Apple Inc. used one in
its new high-end iPhone X.

The investments will not affect voting rights in the Tokyo-based
company, instead being made through the purchase of preferred shares
or bonds, the sources said.

Japan Display was created in 2012 through the
government-sponsored merger of the liquid crystal display businesses
of Sony Corp., Hitachi Ltd., and Toshiba Corp.

The company has logged group net losses over the last three
years as it struggles with competition from Asian rivals, making it
unable to independently develop OLED technology. Samsung Electronics
Co. already mass produces the displays for smartphones.

Japan Display had already received a 75 billion yen bailout from
its lead shareholder, the state-backed fund Innovation Network
Corporation of Japan, last December. It also procured a credit line
of 107 billion yen from financial institutions including Mizuho Bank
Ltd. in August.

Separate sources said Wednesday that JOLED Inc., a Japan Display
affiliate that is developing a more cost-effective way to make OLED
displays, is planning to raise around 100 billion yen to start mass
production in 2019.

Japan Display had at one point planned to make JOLED a
subsidiary but could not scrape together enough money. (Oct. 4)