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Thursday, July 27, 2006
Panasonic to Strengthen PC Optical Disk Drive Business

Panasonic Wednesday announced that the company will step up its efforts in building up its healthcare and PC optical disk drive businesses, where strong growth is expected, through integration within the group companies.

The company plans to transfer Healthcare Business Company, an internal divisional company of MEI, to Panasonic Shikoku Electronics Co., Ltd. (PSEC). PSEC's PC optical disk drive business, including Blu-ray disc drives whose market is projected to grow rapidly, will be transferred to Panasonic Communications Co., Ltd. (PCC). PSEC and PCC are wholly-owned subsidiaries of MEI. The concerned parties will continue working on the details, as they have agreed in principle to implement the plan in April 2007.

In the PC optical disk drive market, more advanced products such as super-multi drives have become available at lower prices. At the same time, consumer demand for reading and recording sizable data and high-definition content on the PC is increasing. Against such a backdrop, the market is anticipated to grow further.

Presently, PSEC handles half-height and slot-loading slim-line drives including Blu-ray disc drives for which a rapid growth is expected. PSEC's PC optical disk drive business will be incorporated into PCC which handles tray loading slim-line drives.

The healthcare market is expanding globally with increased health concerns stemmed from rapid aging of the world's population and higher risk of developing lifestyle diseases as well as growing awareness of disease prevention. By bringing these healthcare and medical device businesses under one roof of PSEC, Panasonic will be able to build a business structure integrated from manufacturing to sales to drive further profit growth and business expansion by capitalizing on the strengths of the two companies.

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