updated 01:10 pm EDT, Mon March 30, 2009
Toshiba buys Pnsnc. stake
Toshiba is in negotiations to buy out Panasonic's stake of a joint LCD venture, claims the Financial Times. Panasonic currently controls 40 percent of Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology, which produces smaller LCDs used in products like cellphones. The venture has been hit by falling product prices however, and is predicting an operating loss of approximately 30 billion yen ($309.6 million) in the fiscal year ending March 2009.
The deal is said to have been instigated by Panasonic, and should be worth "several billion" yen when completed. While refusing to comment on the possibility of a Toshiba buyout, Panasonic has nevertheless admitted that its current strategy is to focus on larger plasma and LCD panels. The Times notes that Toshiba Matsushita Display is one of the leading companies in OLED technology; divesting from TMD could be a sign that Panasonic feels OLED is not making rapid progress, although it funds an OLED initiative of its own.
Toshiba is meanwhile expected to absorb a net loss of 280 billion yen for FY08 as it engages in major expansions. The company has agreed to buy Fujitsu's hard drive division, and is also developing a new business in lithium-ion batteries. Weakening of the tech industry due to the economy has allowed a number of corporations to make otherwise unaffordable acquisitions.