Hitachi announced today the company and long-time rival Canon have signed a formal contract to form a LCD business alliance. This agreement follows closely on the heels of a similar agreement between Hitachi and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. who sells LCD TVs under the Panasonic name.
The terms of the agreement between Canon and Hitachi (PDF) detail Canon's position to take control of 24.9% of Hitachi Displays, Ltd. The portion of Hitachi will be transferred to Canon by March 31, 2008. The deal is still pending regulatory approval and if approved the purchase will cost Canon 43.2 billion yen or about $400 million USD.
The deal also buys Canon a 50% shareholders equity stake in IPS Alpha Technology. Canon also says that the next step in the agreement is to acquire the shares of Hitachi Displays Ltd. currently held by Hitachi and Matsushita. This second step in the agreement will make Hitachi Displays a Canon subsidiary. The deal does give Hitachi the option of holding up to 10% of the shares in Hitachi Displays.
DailyTech reported a few weeks ago that Hitachi had sold Matsushita 24.9% of Hitachi Displays Ltd. and a large stake in IPS Alpha Technology Ltd. DailyTech first reported on the multi-billion dollar talks to purchase portions of Hitachi in December of 2007.