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Appeared on: Monday, April 10, 2006
Taiwan LCD Firm Acquires Local Rival

Au Optoelectronics has agreed to acquire Quanta Display, the LCD division of the contract manufacturing giant, in a stock swap.

AU Optronics will buy local rival Quanta Display for $2.2 billion in stock, seeking to match the scale of South Korean competitors. AU Optronics is the world's third-biggest maker of liquid-crystal displays.

After the transaction, Quanta will hold about 6 percent of AU Optronics, making it the second-biggest shareholder after Benq, which holds 9 percent.

K.Y. Lee, Benq's chief executive, will remain chairman of AU Optronics after the acquisition, the statement said. The company will create a new position of vice chairman for Quanta Display's vice chairman, Liang Tsu-chen, it said.

LCD companies are seeking greater efficiency to profit from surging flat- panel television demand after screen prices tumbled 17 percent in the past year. The combined company would boast 18 percent of industry capacity, compared with 19 percent each for Samsung Electronics and LG.Philips LCD, based on figures from DisplaySearch, a U.S. research company.

K.Y. Lee, Benq's chief executive, will remain chairman of AU Optronics after the acquisition, the statement said. The company will create a new position of vice chairman for Quanta Display's vice chairman, Liang Tsu-chen, it said.

The two companies said that the deal could lead to further collaboration between the Quanta group and Acer subsidiaries or spin-offs such as BenQ, which makes consumer electronics.


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