Sony to invest over $1 billion in Sharp LCD JV: report

TOKYO Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:33pm EDT

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Sony Corp will likely invest more than 100 billion yen ($1.05 billion) in a liquid crystal display TV panel joint venture to be formed with Sharp Corp, the Nikkei business daily reported on Friday.

Sony and Sharp have been in talks to set up a joint venture, with Sony to shoulder part of 380 billion yen to be invested in a Sharp LCD production facility in Sakai, Mie Prefecture, western Japan.

The two companies will likely finalize a deal by the end of July. The agreement was due to be completed last month but was postponed due to the economic downturn, the Nikkei said.

A subsidiary established by Sharp in April to manage the operation of a plant in Sakai will be converted into a joint venture by March next year, with Sony taking a 34 percent stake in it, the newspaper said.

Sony's investment will initially be 50-60 billion yen and will likely total more than 100 billion yen, the Nikkei said.

The Sakai plant will be the world's first LCD panel production facility capable of handling 10th-generation glass substrates, the largest available.

(Reporting by Koustav Samanta in Bangalore and Nathan Layne in Toyo; Editing by Michael Watson)

($1=95.03 Yen)

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