Thu, Nov 23, 2006 - Page 12 News List

S Korean firm to buy 80% of Ritidisplay

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Ritek Corp (錸德), the nation's leading optical-disc maker, yesterday announced that it will bring in a new investor for its subsidiary Ritdisplay Corp (錸寶) to secure the latter's leading position in the organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) market.

The new investor is Kolon Industries Inc, a South Korean top-20 private firm set up in 1957 whose fields include fiber, industrial materials and bioengineering.

Kolon will invest US$100 million to acquire an 80 percent stake in Ritdisplay, which will be turned into a new company by next April, said Ritek spokesman Eric Ai (艾元瑞).

Ritek currently holds over 70 percent of Ritdisplay's shares and will reduce its holdings to 20 percent, he said.

"Ritdisplay is losing money and we hope to regain our edge with resources from Kolon," he said.

For the first three quarters of the year, Ritek posted a loss of NT$2.99 billion (US$91 million) due to losses on reinvestments. Its loss per share was NT$1.31.

Dragged down by Ritdisplay, Ritek's non-operating losses amounted to NT$1.6 billion for the three quarters.

Ritdisplay was the world's No. 1 OLED maker and shipped 14.5 million OLEDs last year, securing a 25.9 percent market share. South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co shipped 14.4 million and had a 25.8 percent share, data on Ritdisplay's Web site showed.

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