September 17, 2008 / 11:09 PM / 11 years ago

Hitachi to buy Matsushita plasma TV panels -Nikkei

TOKYO, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Japan’s Hitachi Ltd (6501.T) will buy plasma TV panels from Panasonic-maker Matsushita Electric Industrial Co (6752.T) as the firms cut costs in a market increasingly dominated by LCD TVs, the Nikkei business daily said on Thursday.

Hitachi, which seeks to turn around its loss-making flat TV business, will procure more than 100,000 panels a year from a new factory Matsushita plans to build next year in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture in western Japan, it said.

Hitachi, bogged down by idle capacity as its sales stall in the United States and Europe, would assemble up to 1 million plasma TVs a year for Matsushita at its factories in the Czech Republic and Mexico, the paper said.

Hitachi and Matsushita were not immediately available for comment on the report in the Nikkei, which said an announcement could come as early as Thursday.

Hitachi would continue to make plasma panels at its own unit, Hitachi Plasma Display Ltd, the paper said.

Hitachi, the world’s No.4 plasma TV maker, and Matsushita, the world’s top plasma TV maker, have already teamed up in liquid crystal display panels. Matsushita took control of Hitachi group member IPS Alpha Technology Ltd this year. (Reporting by Mayumi Negishi; Editing by Rodney Joyce)

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