In a not entirely surprising move, Sony has acquired a stake of Sharp’s new LCD plant in Sakai.
Manufacturing plants aren’t cheap, and it’s not too uncommon for companies to buy shares in their competitor’s plants when the products being made are similar enough. In this case, the products are LCD panels, and the companies involved are Sharp and Sony.
According to the Asashi newspaper of Japan, Sony has invested just over a hundred million dollars in the plant. The return they’ll be seeing is seven percent of the panels made in the plant. According to reports, Sony plans to increase their share gradually.
In the end, according to the Asashi newspaper, Sony is planning to raise their investment – thereby raising their return – to 34 percent by April of 2011. Other investors are expected to be involved in the near future.
The new Sharp facility is a 10g facility, which means that it is capable of utilizing enormous glass substrates. Each substrate can be made into six 60 inch LCD panels. The current production estimates for the plant range at about 72,000 panels a month. Of those 72,000 panels, Sony will currently get around 5,400.