once a leader in the market, is turning down the dial on its losing television
business according to Reuters and Bloomberg.
Frans van Houten, a "restructuring expert" and newly appointed CEO of
the Amsterdam-based company, has implemented a plan to hand over control of the
Philips' TV business to TPV, a Hong Kong-based monitor maker that controls 33
percent of the global computer monitor market. The joint venture grants TPV
control of the business, with a 70-percent ownership stake. Philips will claim
the remainder, but it has the option to sell out. According to Bloomberg,
it will receive royalty payments from TPV of at least $72 million annually
starting in 2013.
The deal is an effort to boost the Dutch company profits. Philips lost 87
million euros in the first quarter from its TVs, which it first manufactured in
The value of the deal has not been disclosed, but all 3,600 Philips employees
who currently work in the TV business will be transferred to Hong Kong.
This is not the first time Philips has done business with TPV. According to Bloomberg,
it sold a majority stake in PC monitors to TPV for $358 million in 2004. \
And the deal accelerates Philips' focus on a few key industries: lighting,
health-care products, and smaller consumer electronics such as toothbrushes and
Analysts and markets warmed to the joint venture. Philips stock rose 2.6
percent -- the most since January. "It's a major positive," ING
analyst Sjoerd Ummels told Reuters. "It's clear (Van Houten)
will address laggard businesses."
"It is a positive surprise Frans van Houten has fixed this problem so
fast," Theodoor Gilissen Bankiers Analyst Jos Versteeg told Bloomberg.
"Van Houten certainly isn’t wasting any time."
The announcement came the same day that the company also reported its
first-quarter earnings. Net income was down from 200 million euros last year to
137 million in Q1 2011.
Philips was one of the last surviving mass-market European television
manufacturers -- a niche now dominated by Germany's Loewe AG and Denmark's Bang
& Olufsen AS. Philips, though, struggled to compete with Asian
manufacturers such as Samsung and LG Electronics.
"We are not yet firing on all cylinders...There's much unlocked potential
in Philips," Van Houten told Reuters, hinting that there may
be further divestments in the future.