Lite-On to buy out LarView stakeholders

INTEGRATION::The deal is expected to help expand Lite-On’s handset camera module capacity. Largan, which holds 70 percent of LarView’s shares, has confirmed the deal

By Helen Ku  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Mar 28, 2014 - Page 13

Optoelectronic components maker Lite-On Technology Inc (光寶科技) yesterday said it plans to complete its acquisition of LarView Technologies Corp (宏翔光電) by purchasing the remaining 84 percent held by other stakeholders for NT$500 million (US$16.41 million).

Founded in April 2012, Taoyuan County-based LarView is a camera-module maker with paid-in capital of NT$600 million.

Lite-On currently holds 16 percent of LarView, while handset camera lensmaker Largan Precision Co (大立光) owns 70 percent and Japan’s TDK Corp holds the remaining 14 percent.

Lite-On said it hoped to complete the share purchase by the end of June.

The deal is expected to help expand Lite-On’s handset camera module capacity by 20 percent to 30 million units a month by July, a company spokesperson said.

“We plan to own all of LarView’s shares mainly because it has automation equipment that we need for production of mid and high-end handset camera modules,” Lite-On’s investor and public relations director Julia Wang (王玉玲) said.

Since 2010, Lite-On has supplied camera modules to the world’s top-tier smartphone and tablet vendors, including Samsung Electronics Co, Sony Corp and Nokia Oyj.

Sales of handset camera modules accounted for about 14 percent of Lite-On’s total revenue of NT$213 billion last year, and the figure is expected to grow by between 20 and 30 percent this year, including a 5 to 10 percent contribution from LarView, on the back of increasing market demand for higher-pixel cameras, Wang said.

Largan yesterday confirmed the plan to sell all of its remaining shares in LarView.

“[Larview] has contributed little to the company’s non-operating income,” Largan investor relations official Josephine Huang (黃印嘉) said by telephone.

Huang said LarView’s business contributed just 10 percent of Largan’s total non-operating income of NT$720 million last year, adding that Largan’s withdrawal of investments in LarView “will not have a significant impact on the company’s financial performance this year.”

However, she dismissed media reports that Largan would turn to collaborate with Chinese optoelectronic components maker O-film Tech Co Ltd (歐菲光) to gain entry into the Chinese market, a mission LarView has failed to achieve.

“O-film is one of Largan’s clients and we always join our clients’ product research and development projects, if necessary,” Huang said.

Meanwhile, Lite-On yesterday reported that net profit expanded 4.1 percent quarter-on-quarter and 8.7 percent year-on-year to NT$2.51 billion last quarter due to an improvement in its product mix, the company’s financial report said.

For the whole of last year, Lite-On posted a net profit of NT$8.75 billion — its highest in three years — with earnings per share of NT$3.83.

The company’s board also approved a proposal to distribute a cash dividend of NT$2.71 and stock dividend of 0.5 percent this year. That translates into a cash dividend yield of 6.19 percent based on Lite-On’s share price of NT$43.75 yesterday in Taipei trading.