Japan Display Inc, the world’s biggest maker of LCD screens for smartphones and tablet computers, plans to raise US$2 billion in an initial public offering (IPO), reports said yesterday.
The IPO will be the biggest on the Tokyo Stock Exchange so far this year after drink giant Suntory’s food-and-beverage unit raised US$3.9 billion.
The Japanese LCD maker, whose clients include Apple Inc and Sony Corp, would raise as much as ￥200 billion (US$2 billion) from a share sale that would give it a market value of ￥700 billion to ￥800 billion, Dow Jones Newswires quoted a source with knowledge of the deal as saying.
The IPO is expected during this fiscal year by March next year, Dow Jones and the leading Nikkei business daily reported.
Japan Display — set up last year through the merger of Hitachi Ltd, Toshiba Corp and Sony’s money-losing LCD units — plans to use the funds to boost production of small and medium-sized screens as it faces tough competition from South Korean and Taiwanese rivals.
The government-backed Innovation Network Corp of Japan (INCJ) holds about 70 percent of the firm, with the three electronics giants each claiming a roughly 10 percent stake. INCJ will retain more than a third of the company, the source said, asking to not be identified as the matter is private
The merger was aimed at helping Japanese firms better compete in high-resolution display technology, which has become the standard for smartphones, tablets and other electronic gadgets.
Japan Display, which declined to comment on the IPO report, remains the global leader in the production of small and mid-sized LCD displays, with nearly 17 percent of the worldwide market, according to US-based NPD DisplaySearch.
Japan Display may post sales between ￥700 billion and ￥800 billion yen in the year started April 1, from about ￥450 billion last fiscal year, company president Shuichi Otsuka said in a May interview.
The company wants to expand sales of displays used in cars, such as instrument panels, Otsuka said at the time.
The company, which employs about 6,200 workers, has five factories in Japan and five overseas, according to its Web site.
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