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Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Fujitsu announces agreement with Hitachi on plasma display panel business

Fujitsu announced that it has reached a basic agreement with Hitachi regarding Fujitsu's transfer to Hitachi of 30.1% of the issued shares in their joint venture company, Fujitsu Hitachi Plasma Display Limited (FHP), along with related plasma display panel (PDP) intellectual property rights.

The companies intend to sign a formal agreement finalizing the arrangements by the end of March, at which time the specified intellectual property rights will be transferred to Hitachi. After providing financial support aimed at eliminating FHP's excessive debt, the companies plan to complete the transfer of shares, following which FHP will become a consolidated subsidiary of Hitachi.

Fujitsu pioneered PDP research in 1968 and over the years has consistently been at the vanguard of technological advances - such as the development of the world's first 21-inch color PDP in 1992 - and their commercialization, in the process garnering numerous patents in fundamental PDP technologies. Leveraging that technological foundation to develop its business, FHP has since its establishment in 1999 continued to advance the frontiers of PDP technology, including development and mass production of the world's first high-definition PDPs (42-inch/37-inch/32-inch), as a PDP industry leader and driving force in the market.

Going forward, although the market for PDPs is expected to greatly expand, competition in the flat-screen television market has become severe, and it will be necessary to develop and manufacture panels offering even greater cost performance and higher added value. The agreement reached by Fujitsu and Hitachi reflects their recognition of these market dynamics and the belief that transferring management control of FHP to longtime partner and plasma television leader Hitachi will enable the necessary restructuring and strengthening of FHP's operations under a new business model that will allow FHP to utilize Hitachi's know-how to an even greater extent than before.

Fujitsu's business centers on providing customers with comprehensive solutions comprising highly reliable, high-performance products and services based on powerful information technologies. The agreement announced today is expected to help enable Fujitsu to further consolidate and effectively allocate its resources in order to strengthen its business.

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