Business / Corporate

Murata buys factory from Sony to boost production of smartphone parts

Kyodo, JIJI

Murata Manufacturing Co. said Monday it has acquired a Sony Corp. plant in central Japan as it looks to meet growing demand for iPhone and other smartphone components.

Murata, an Apple Inc. supplier, has purchased the plant located in the city of Nomi, Ishikawa Prefecture, to produce smartphone circuit boards, with its total investment including spending on new equipment expected to be close to ¥30 billion to ¥40 billion.

Kanazawa Murata Manufacturing Co., the wholly owned subsidiary of Murata that will operate the plant, will hire a workforce of about 300 over the next three years.

Murata has been producing circuit boards it has developed for thinner smartphones at a factory in Toyama Prefecture, adjacent to Ishikawa, among other locations. It has not been able to expand its output enough to meet demand.

Since Sony stopped production of camera components at the plant in Nomi in 2014, the factory has been leased to a different company for semiconductor assembly.

After the assembly operation ceased earlier this year, Murata approached Sony to buy the plant.

Murata aims nearly to double its output of the circuit boards next fiscal year starting in April, company sources said.

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