Thu, Aug 23, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Teco to buy stake in Syntax-Brillian

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Home appliance maker Teco Electric & Machinery Co (東元電機) yesterday announced that it plans to spend US$20 million to gain a 3.5 percent share in the US-based Syntax-Brillian Corp.

The new investment was approved by the Taipei-based company's board earlier yesterday, Teco said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

Shares of Teco closed limit-up at NT$17.20. Its shares have dropped 1.72 percent so far this month, but are up 0.59 percent since the beginning of the year.

Teco's new partnership with Syntax-Brillian means that the company will be working with its homegrown rival Taiwan Kolin Co (歌林), which holds a stake of around 8 percent in the US firm.

Kolin currently produces flat-screen TVs for Syntax-Brillian, which is known as the vendor of high-definition televisions behind the Olevia-brand liquid-crystal-display (LCD) TVs. The company also sells liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) TVs in the US market.

"The collaboration would be the first among Taiwanese home appliances makers, offering us a new business opportunity in the market," Teco said in the statement.

The three companies would share resources including manufacturing, design and production, to bring local LCD television brands to overseas markets, the statement added.

Teco's hope to increase its product presence in the North American market could encounter increased competition from Vizio, a brand from Amtran Technology Co (瑞軒科技).

Both Olevia and Vizio brands are targeting the same customer base -- people who prefer spending less on flat-panel TVs.

Based on the latest figures released by market researcher iSuppli on Monday, Vizio LCD TVs led the North American market with a share of 14.5 percent in the second quarter, up from 9.4 percent in the earlier three months, while Olevia TVs were No. 7 in that market with a share of 6.1 percent, up from 5 percent in the previous quarter.

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