Japan Display, Inc.: Sony, Toshiba, Hitachi Finalize Deal To Merge Display Units

The deal has been in the making for months, but today Sony, Toshiba and Hitachi made the mega merger official. The three companies signed definitive agreements with the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) to integrate their small- and medium-sized display businesses.

Under the deal, semi-public INCJ will hold 70% of Japan Display, Inc., a new company that will run the operations. Sony, Toshiba, and Hitachi will control 10% each when Japan Display starts its business in spring 2012. Japan Display will issue US$2.6 billion in new shares to INCJ through a third-party allocation.

The new company will be led by Shuichi Otsuka, the COO of Elpida, a major Japanese maker of DRAM products.

In a separate announcement, Japan Display said it plans to acquire a plant that manufactures small- and medium-sized LCDs from Panasonic for an undisclosed sum. That plant, which is located in Mobara (near Tokyo), currently turns out 600,000 LCD TVs a month. Japan Display is expected to take it over in April next year.