Business / Corporate

Denso to become largest investor in Japan Display affiliate's OLED panel project

Kyodo

Car parts maker Denso Corp. is set to become the largest investor in a Japan Display Inc. affiliate’s plan to raise ¥100 billion to begin mass production of advanced panels, according to sources close to the matter.

Denso is prepared to invest around ¥50 billion in JOLED Inc., a developer of organic light-emitting diode panels used in smartphones and TVs, the sources said.

Denso, an affiliate of Toyota Motor Corp., will likely become a JOLED customer and use the displays in car dashboards or rear-view mirrors.

JOLED was created in 2015 from operations spun off by Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp. in a government-backed consolidation of Japan’s development of OLED panels.

Earlier this month JOLED announced plans to raise ¥100 billion by March through a third-party allocation of new shares, without providing details about the likely investors.

JOLED plans to use the money to expand its production of mid-sized panels tenfold, as it races to catch up to South Korean global leaders in the OLED panel market.

Sources say Sony and Panasonic are each expected to chip in ¥5 billion to ¥10 billion of the total, with Sumitomo Chemical Co. and Screen Holdings Co. also in talks to make similar investments.

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

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