updated 01:55 pm EST, Tue February 26, 2008
Sony invest in sharp
Sony is investing in a flat TV manufacturing plant Sharp is building for LCD panels, according to a report today. The $3.5 billion plant is due to be operational by March of 2010, with construction commencing this past December. The plant will be two-thirds owned by Sharp and will manufacture 40-, 50- and 60-inch flat panels. Japanese daily newspaper Nikkei claims that Sony will contribute about $926 million to the venture, though neither company has confirmed that number. Sony President Ryoji Chubachi and Sharp President Mikio Katayama were scheduled to speak at a joint news conference in Tokyo in the latter part of the day to shed more light on their joint venture.
With growing demand for flat-panel TVs around the world, the move is seen as a profitable one for both companies, as it gives Sony another source for its TVs, in addition to its supply from another joint venture with Samsung, while Sharp's investment is lightened.
Sony does not make its own liquid crystal displays, instead focusing on its high-end CRT TVs, from which the market and the industry have shied away.
This information comes after yesterday's report of Pioneer ceasing its own production of smaller plasma displays. In December, Toshiba made a similar announcement which teamed the Japanese electronics giant with Sharp to buy its LCD panels.