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Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Canon to Buy Part of Hitachi LCD Panel Unit

Japanese camera maker Canon said it would pay $403 million for a quarter stake in Hitachi's LCD panel business to get its own supply of parts for its cameras and copiers.

Canon and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co agreed in December to buy 24.9 percent each of the LCD panel maker, Hitachi Displays, now wholly owned by Hitachi.

Canon, the world's largest maker of digital cameras, currently has to buy LCD panels for its cameras, camcorders, copiers and printers.

Canon wants to eventually buy Hitachi Displays stakes from Matsushita, the maker of Panasonic products, and Hitachi to make it a subsidiary. Matsushita has also announced the purchase for its quarter last week.

Hitachi Displays owns 50 percent of large LCD maker IPS Alpha Technology.

Canon's announcement follows Sony's decision on Tuesday to take a one-third stake in a $3.5 billion LCD panel plant being built by Sharp.

Also, Sony and Samsung are reportedly in the final stages of talks to jointly build a new LCD panel production line.

Samsung and Sony, the world's largest and second-largest LCD TV makers, run an LCD joint venture, S-LCD.

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