Japan Display IPO eyes ¥200 billion

Kyodo

A liquid crystal display maker launched jointly last year by Hitachi Ltd., Toshiba Corp. and Sony Corp. plans to go public on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in search of around ¥200 billion to expand production for panels used in smartphones, sources said Friday.

Japan Display Inc., established in April last year, earlier expected to list its shares in the business year starting April 2014 but has judged it possible to go public this year, taking into account its favorable performance and the solid stock market, the sources said.

Japan Display was formed by integrating the LCD businesses of the three Japanese manufacturers, with the government-backed investment fund Innovation Network Corp. of Japan investing ¥200 billion at the launch and receiving a 70 percent stake in the Tokyo-based company.

Japan Display, which is the No. 1 producer of small and medium-sized LCD panels, also plans to use the procured funds for to research and develop next-generation organic light emitting displays to prepare for competition with Asian rivals in South Korea and Taiwan, the sources said.

Unlike large LCD panels used for televisions, Japanese companies are said to lead the market in small and medium-sized displays used in smartphones and tablet computers.