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Sony and Panasonic to join fundraising by Japan Display affiliate

Kyodo

Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp. are among the companies set to help an affiliate of Japan Display Inc. raise ¥100 billion for mass production of advanced panels, sources said Wednesday.

Sumitomo Chemical Co. and Screen Holdings Co. are also likely to take part in the planned fundraising by JOLED Inc., with the four contributors expected to each provide ¥5 billion to ¥10 billion. Talks are continuing with other potential investors to raise the remaining funds, the sources said.

JOLED was spun off from Sony and Panasonic in 2015 in a government-backed effort to consolidate development of organic light-emitting diode panels used in the displays of smartphones and TVs. Apple Inc. chose OLED displays for its new flagship iPhone X.

The company announced Tuesday it is seeking to raise ¥100 billion by March through a third-party allocation of new shares, without providing details on specific investors.

JOLED hopes to use the cash to begin mass production of the panels as it hurries to catch up with South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc., the global leaders in OLED displays.

The state-backed investment fund Innovation Network Corp. of Japan owns a 75 percent stake in JOLED. Japan Display owns 15 percent while Sony and Panasonic each have 5 percent.

Sumitomo Chemical supplies JOLED with materials used in OLED displays while Screen builds the manufacturing equipment for their production.