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Appeared on: Thursday, December 14, 2006
Sanyo Pulls Out of LCD Business

Struggling Sanyo Electric Co said Wednesday it will sell off all of its 45% stake in liquid crystal display maker Sanyo Epson Imagining Devices Corp to Seiko Epson Corp, a joint owner of the company.

The decision was made as Sanyo has been driven by necessity to focus on profitable businesses and withdraw from non-core operations. Sanyo expects to post a group net loss of 50 billion yen for the current business year to next March.

The agreement will lighten the burden for Sanyo, the consumer electronics giant that received a 300 billion yen ($2.57 billion) bailout from banks and is in the middle of a company-wide restructuring, while allow Seiko Epson to focus on reviving its struggling display business.

The sale will leave Sanyo, which has already withdrawn from the organic light-emitting diode business and makes no cathode ray tubes or plasma panels, with no display operations.

Seiko Epson Corp aims to quickly turn around the world's third-largest maker of small- and medium-sized LCDs used in cellphones and digital cameras.

Separately, Seiko Epson said on Tuesday the LCD joint venture was under investigation by fair trade authorities in Japan and the United States. The authorities are also looking into other panel makers for possible price fixing.


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