Seiko Epson Corporation and Sony Corporation today announced the execution of an agreement to transfer to the Sony group certain assets of the small - and medium - sized TFT liquid crystal display (LCD) business operated by Epson Imaging Devices Corporation in the Epson group.
Epson and Sony have discussed a possible agreement in the field of small-and medium-sized TFT LCDs since their March 2009 announcement. As further detailed below, the agreement announced today calls for certain assets of the Epson group to be transferred to the Sony group, subject to receipt of necessary government approvals. Placing top priority on continuing to meet customer requirements, the sales function for small- and medium-sized TFT LCD business operated by Epson Imaging will first be transferred to the Sony group within 2009. Thereafter, it is planned that certain manufacturing-related assets for such business owned by Epson Imaging will be transferred to Sony Mobile Display Corporation ("SMD") on April 1, 2010, from which time they will be operated by the Sony group.
The outline of the agreement, planned to be completed within 2009 includes:
1. Transfer of the sales function for small- and medium-sized TFT LCD business (excluding high-temperature polysilicon TFT LCDs, etc.) operated by Epson Imaging to the Sony group and secondment of sales personnel.
To commence on April 1, 2010 (planned)
2. Transfer of certain buildings and equipment and lease of certain land relating to amorphous silicon TFT LCD manufacturing from Epson Imaging (Tottori city, Tottori, Japan) to SMD.
3. Transfer of certain intellectual property, including patents, software and technical information, relating to small- and medium-sized TFT LCDs (excluding high-temperature polysilicon TFT LCDs, etc.) from Epson to the Sony group.
4. Secondment of certain Epson Imaging and other Epson group employees involved in the development, design and manufacture of small- and medium-sized TFT LCDs (excluding high-temperature polysilicon TFT LCDs, etc.) from the Epson group to the Sony group.
In addition to the Sony group's existing expertise in sales, development, design and production of high-resolution low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCDs, the transfer of these business assets will enable Sony to fully utilize Epson Imaging and other Epson group capabilities in the field of small-and medium-sized TFT LCD sales, technology and product design and amorphous silicon TFT LCD production.
The deal will have limited impact on the two firms' fiscal 2009 earnings outlooks, according to Seiko Epson and Sony.