Business / Corporate

Panasonic to sell three chip plants to Israel's TowerJazz in revamp


Panasonic Corp. said Friday it will effectively sell off three domestic semiconductor plants to Israeli chipmaker TowerJazz Semiconductor.

The two firms will establish a joint venture temporarily named Panasonic TowerJazz Semiconductor by April 1, which will run the three Panasonic plants in Toyama and Niigata prefectures and take on their workers.

The joint venture will be owned 51 percent by TowerJazz and 49 percent by Osaka-based Panasonic, which said it will also close its Okayama chip plant in fiscal 2014 as part of restructuring efforts. The firm will move Okayama’s output to its Toyama plant.

Profitability has worsened at the semiconductor laser plant in Okayama due to the reduced need for the components in its own products, including TVs, sources said. Panasonic wants to concentrate resources on fields where it is already strong, such as automobile- and housing-related electronics.

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