TOKYO Nov 9 Japan Display, the world's largest
maker of displays for smartphones and tablets, has applied for a
share listing in Tokyo that it hopes will raise up to 200
billion yen ($2 billion), sources familiar with the matter said
The state-controlled company may face difficulty hitting its
fund-raising target, however, after a sudden slowdown in its
tablet screen business last month that could raise doubts over
an expansion drive, industry sources have said.
Japan Display has nevertheless decided to push ahead with
plans for an initial public offering (IPO) by March and proceed
with its expansion, one of the sources said, confident of
continued growth in smartphone and tablet demand and its ability
to find additional customers.
Industry sources have said the capacity utilisation rate at
its recently opened Mobara plant near Tokyo fell sharply in
October, reflecting soft orders for tablets using its screens.
This is likely to weigh on the company's earnings outlook and
could dampen demand for the share offering, they added.
A Japan Display representative declined to comment.
The company, formed in April of last year from display units
of Sony Corp, Hitachi Ltd and Toshiba Corp
, is 70 percent owned by the Innovation Network Corp of
Japan, a mostly government-funded body to support
Japan Display has committed $2 billion to investment in the
Mobara plant, which it bought from Panasonic Corp and
began operating in June of this year. The funds raised from the
IPO would be used for additional expansion projects.
Japanese companies typically proceed with a share offering
about three months after submitting an application to the Tokyo
Although the company does not name its customers, industry
sources widely confirm that it supplies screens for both Google
Inc's Nexus7 tablet and Amazon.com Inc's
Kindle Fire HDX, as well as Apple Inc's iPhone.
Japan Display chalked up sales of 450 billion yen in the
latest year to March and an operating profit of several billion
yen. At the start of the current financial year in April, Japan
Display President Shuichi Otsuka said it was targeting sales of
700 billion to 800 billion yen and an operating profit margin
around 5 percent.
Japan Display has tapped Goldman Sachs, Nomura
Securities and Morgan Stanley as global
coordinators for the IPO, sources with direct knowledge of the
matter have told Reuters.