Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (referred to as DNP), Asahi Glass Co., Ltd., and Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation have reached an agreement today to transfer the shares of Advanced Colortech, Inc. (referred to as ACTI), a 50/50 joint venture between Asahi Glass and Mitsubishi Chemical, to DNP. ACTI is the number three manufacturers of color filters for liquid-crystal displays (LCD). DNP will acquire 80% of ACTI's shares, 40% each from Asahi Glass and Mitsubishi Chemical.
This agreement has come about as the result of a convergence between the DNP management strategy to expand manufacturing capacity in those color filters, while improving its technology development potential in line with an expected expansion in the market, and that of Asahi Glass and Mitsubishi Chemical to further increase competitiveness at ACTI by a strategic alliance with a third party. In the future, both Asahi Glass and Mitsubishi Chemical will concentrate their resources in high performance materials for LCD color filters; glass substrates by Asahi Glass and color resists by Mitsubishi Chemical.
ACTI has been creating technological advances both in current and the next generations of LCD color filters through the merging of material design and manufacturing technologies from Asahi Glass and Mitsubishi Chemical. Asahi Glass and Mitsubishi Chemical will continue to license non-exclusive rights to the technologies used in the manufacturing of color filters to ACTI after the share transfer agreement. ACTI's unique color filter manufacturing know-how is the most highly prized technology, as the LCD industry moves progressively towards large-size substrates. ACTI will continue its operations within Mitsubishi Chemical's Kurosaki Plant in Kita-Kyushu, Japan.
This investment will bring ACTI into the DNP family, and DNP will assume a dominant manufacturing capability for large-scale color filters beyond the 3.5-generation (620x720mm). DNP is looking for monthly capacity of 2.6 million units, based on a 14-inch filter. Also, based on the synergy of the material technology of Asahi Glass and Mitsubishi Chemical with ACTI's unique manufacturing know-how, DNP and ACTI will stand in a technologically advantageous position as regards the development of fifth generation color filters and beyond.
DNP expects to become the leading company by accelerating technical development aimed at large-scale color filter panels for use in LCD displays.
Advanced Colortech, Inc.
Founded: 23 June 1997
President: Masahiro Yamamoto
Capitalization: 5 billion-yen
The manufacture and marketing of color filters for LCD's.
Location: Yahata-nishi-ku, Fukuoka, JAPAN
Estimated sales in present fiscal year: 22 billion-yen
About Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.
Dai Nippon Printing (DNP) is one of the world's largest comprehensive printing companies, with annual sales of 1.312 trillion yen and 35,000 employees (as of March 2002). DNP's wide range of businesses include publication printing, commercial printing, smart cards, business forms, network business and electronic components. DNP's color filter development is based on its coating know-how, which is at the core of printing technology, along with such microprocessing technology as pholithographics and color design technology. The electronic components manufactured by the DNP group all maintain a high market share around the world, and the color filter for LCD's is also expected to capture over 40% of the global market. DNP also provides components for a wide variety of other displays, other than color filters, such as shadowmasks, projection TV screens, organic EL displays, and PDP backplates. For more information about DNP, please visit www.dnp.co.jp.
About Asahi Glass Co., Ltd.
Asahi Glass Company, Limited, was established in 1907 and was Japan's first commercial manufacturer of flat glass. Since then, the Company has expanded its operations to include chemicals, as well as glass for construction materials, automobiles, and display glass for cathode ray tubes, liquid crystal displays, plasma display panels and other applications. Capitalizing on its glass materials and processing technologies, the Company also diversified into the electronics field. Today, Asahi Glass is a multinational company with operations centering on glass, electronics and displays, and chemicals, and a global network of 200 subsidiaries and affiliates in Japan and 24 other countries.
About Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation
Mitsubishi Chemical and its Group companies engage in diverse operations, including mainline businesses in petrochemicals, carbon products and agrochemicals, information and electronics related products, pharmaceuticals, specialty chemicals, functional materials, and plastic-based products. We particularly emphasize specialty chemicals and pharmaceuticals as engines of long-term growth. Mitsubishi Chemical's corporate principle, Good Chemistry for Tomorrow, expresses our unique stance - a forward-looking commitment and challenge to discover chemistry's new potentials while establishing and strengthening the interrelationships of people, society and nature.
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