Tue, Jul 23, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Himax has big plans for Google deal

By Kevin Chen  /  Staff reporter

Himax Technologies Inc (奇景光電), which designs semiconductors used in flat-panel displays, yesterday announced plans to sell a 6.3 percent stake in its subsidiary, Himax Display Inc (HDI, 立景光電), to Google Inc.

New York-listed Himax Technologies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, but said the US search giant has an option to buy additional shares in the form of preferred stock within one year that would raise its HDI stake to 14.8 percent if exercised in full.

Himax Technologies still holds an 81.5 percent stake in HDI and will remain its major shareholder after the transaction, the company said in a statement.

Google will join the core group of HDI shareholders, which include KPCB Holdings Inc, Khosla Ventures I LP and Intel Capital Corp, it added.

“The purpose of the investment is to fund production upgrades, expand capacity and further enhance production capabilities at HDI’s facilities that produce liquid crystal on silicon [LCOS] chips and modules,” Greater Tainan-based Himax Technologies said in the statement.

The LCOS chips and modules are used in applications including head-mounted displays such as Google Glass, as well as other head-up display and pico-projector products, the company said.

Earlier this year, Google unveiled its Internet-connected Glass, which some analysts have said could be the next big breakthrough in mobile computing devices.

In its statement, Himax Technologies said the company had already begun expanding capacity to meet demand for its LCOS product line since the beginning of the second quarter of this year.

“Under the agreement, Himax will also invest additional amounts in HDI to fund its ongoing capacity expansion. HDI will also use a portion of the proceeds to substantially reduce its loan from Himax,” the company said.

“We look forward to leveraging this investment and our collective expertise with Google to create unique and transformational LCOS technologies for many years ahead,” Himax president and chief executive Jordan Wu (吳炳昌) said.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of this year, pending regulatory approvals and other closing conditions, the statement said.

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