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Monday, December 10, 2007
Hitachi Maxell and Chinontec Tie-up to Strengthen Optical Components Businesses


Hitachi Maxell, Ltd., and Chinontec Industries, Inc., today announced that they concluded an agreement for an operational and capital tie-up to strengthen both companies? optical components businesses.

Based on this agreement, the companies will add further value to their existing products by combining Maxell?s technology for micro/thin lens units and optical design technology for aspherical lenses with Chinontec?s glass/plastic hybrid lens technology, alignment assembly technology, optical engine technology, and image stabilization technology to advance the multifunctionality and modularization of lens units. At the same time, the companies will create new businesses in such areas of the optical components market as security and medical treatment.

In addition, the companies agreed that Maxell will assume the total amount of Chinontec?s third-party allocation of new shares, scheduled on December 13, 2007, thereby acquiring 700 newly issued shares and an approximately 19% ownership of Chinontec?s issued and outstanding shares.

Chinontec exploits strengths in optical design technology, mechanism design technology, assembly technology based on optical axis alignment, and automatic evaluation equipment. The company has technology for optical lenses used in digital cameras, imaging units, and engines and projection lenses used for LCD projectors as well as substantial shares of markets for these products worldwide.

Through this operational tie-up, the companies will combine Maxell?s optical design technology for aspherical lenses and technology for micro/thin lens units with Chinontec?s optical design technology, mechanism design technology, and optical axis alignment assembly technology to realize the early development and marketing of high-value-added products. These products will include advanced lens units incorporating such functions as image stabilization, autofocus, and zoom for digital cameras and other digital mobile devices; ultra-wide-angle zoom lens units for security cameras; objective lenses for Blu-ray Discs; and camera modules for vehicle mounting.

Further, in the medium-to-long term the companies will combine Maxell-developed engineering/plastic plating technology that uses supercritical carbon dioxide with Chinontec?s optical engine technology and projection lens technology to develop new businesses for such micro precision optical modules as micro videoscopes and mobile projectors. These businesses will target the industrial and medical treatment sectors.

Also, the companies agreed on production collaboration aimed at catering to future increases in demand for optical components, securing production capacity, and improving cost competitiveness. Moreover, the companies will use each other?s sales channels to access new customers. Maxell will gain access to manufacturers of medical treatment equipment and precision optical devices, while Chinontec will gain access to the massproduced products area.

Maxell is pursuing initiatives guided by a medium-term business plan, covering the period through to the end of March 2011, which positions batteries, optical components, and functional materials as three businesses for priority strengthening because of the high growth and profitability that they promise. In optical components, Maxell is strengthening operations by seeking thin-type, high-resolution products and investing in increased production capacity.


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