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Toshiba sells TV business to Hisense

By Xie Chuanjiao (China Daily)    13:15, November 15, 2017

People walk past LED television monitors at the Toshiba stand at a trade fair in Berlin, Germany. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Chinese home appliance maker Hisense Group said on Tuesday that it was acquiring the television business of struggling Japanese conglomerate Toshiba for 12.9 billion yen ($113.44 million) to further expand its overseas business.

Under the deal, Hisense Electric Co Ltd, the listed unit of Hisense Group, would purchase a 95 percent stake in Toshiba Visual Solutions Corp (TVS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toshiba Corporation, while the Japanese company would retain the balance 5 percent stake.

The Qingdao-based company would gain access to the Japanese firm's television business, including production, research and development and sales functions.

Toshiba Visual will also acquire the worldwide license to use the Toshiba brand for visual solutions products and services for 40 years, including connection with TVS's existing business partners in Europe, Southeast Asia and other markets.

Following the acquisition, TVS will primarily work on Toshiba TVs and various ancillary products, including commercial display and advertisement display products.

TVS has two factories in Japan and hundreds of R&D employees, and has a significant IP portfolio related to TV business, including patents related to TV image quality and acoustics.

Liu Hongxin, CEO of Hisense Group, said his company would optimize TVS's R&D resources, supply chain and global sales channels and also cooperate with each other in display technology, for providing fast growth in the Japanese market.

According to research and analytics firm IHS Markit, Toshiba was ranked third in the Japanese television market in 2016. Hisense had the highest market share in Japan among all foreign brands.

The combined market share of Toshiba and Hisense brands would be 20 percent of the total TV market in Japan and the combination is expected to take the second slot after the deal.

Toshiba is not Hisense's first international acquisition. In 2015, Hisense purchased Sharp's TV business in Mexico and acquired Sharp America's TV line for the North and South American markets.

According to IHS Markit, Hisense's color TV business was ranked third in the world in 2016. It has been the market leader in China for 13 consecutive years and was a sponsor for the 2016 European Cup, 2018 World Cup and other top sports events.

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