BOE Technology Co Ltd will build the first cutting-edge fifth-generation thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) line in China, following its acquisition of South Korean LCD maker Hydis, company executives said yesterday.
"Our plan is to take an advantageous position in future competitions on the display market and become a world-class display maker in the region," said Wang Dongsheng, chairman and chief executive officer of the Beijing-based display company.
He revealed yesterday in Beijing that evaluations and designs for the TFT-LCD line were already under way and plant construction would start this year.
Wang said the fifth-generation line would start to operate in the first half of 2005.
The fifth-generation line, which usually costs US$1-1.2 billion, features the most advanced manufacturing technology in the TFT-LCD industry and is mainly used to produce large-screen LCD monitors and televisions.
Only Samsung and LG-Philips operate such facilities in the world.
The executive of the Shenzhen-listed Chinese display giant said his company might solve funding problems by attracting investment from strategic partners, getting bank loans and shifting investments from some non-core operations.
Wang disclosed that his company had raised or would raise more than half of the capital needed for the project soon.
The acquisition of Hydis, a subsidiary of the South Korean semiconductor giant Hynix, made BOE's fifth-generation TFT-LCD dream a reality.
BOE said yesterday it had finished the acquisition and paid about US$400 million for the deal, including about US$200 million from BOE's own pocket, US$183 million from Hydis' creditors in South Korea, and the remainder coming from seller-credit offered by Hynix.
With the money, BOE acquired all three TFT-LCD lines of Hydis, all Hydis' TFT-LCD technologies, patents and techniques, as well as the latter's global sales network.
All assets were injected into BOE-Hydis Technology Co Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chinese electronic business.
BOE-Hydis' President and Chief Executive Officer B. D. Choi said the company would mainly focus on smaller-size LCDs and products for notebooks.
The company would start a LCD module plant in Beijing to assemble products from South Korea and make preparations for the fifth-generation line.
(China Daily February 13, 2003)