German TV maker Loewe teams up with China's Hisense

FRANKFURT Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:29am EDT

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German high-end TV maker Loewe AG LOEG.DE on Wednesday said it had struck a strategic partnership with China's Hisense International Co., Ltd (600060.SS), sending Loewe's shares up by nearly one third.

Loewe, which filed for protection from creditors' demands earlier this month, said the partnership would allow joint efforts in purchasing, production, development, and sales.

"Hisense will give Loewe long-term access to the latest TV panel technology and attractive markets in China," Loewe said in a statement.

Loewe, which is 28 percent-owned by Japan's Sharp (6753.T), would in turn offer Hisense its distribution network in western Europe and would exclusively distribute Hisense in the Austrian test market for new Ultra-HD technology, the statement said.

Hisense would get access to Loewe's software for high-end televisions, including multimedia and Internet applications, Loewe added.

The companies did not disclose financial terms of the arrangement.

Loewe's share rose 32 percent to 2.31 euros by 0800 GMT (4 a.m.ET)

Loewe had failed to keep up with mass-market rivals such as Samsung (005930.KS) and LG Electronics (066570.KS), and to cope with a slide in the average price of TV sets. Its losses almost tripled to 29 million euros ($38.4 million) in 2012, year-on-year.

The company filed for protection from creditors at a German court on July 16 under a law that gives firms up to three months of breathing room to try to fix their finances and stave off insolvency.

(Reporting by Jonathan Gould; editing by Harro ten Wolde and Jane Merriman)

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