Kodak, Sanyo Electric to join forces to make electroluminescent screens in Japan

Tuesday, December 4th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TOKYO (AP) _ Eastman Kodak Co. and Sanyo Electric Co. have agreed to form a joint venture to make advanced displays in Japan, a company spokesman said Tuesday.

The 500 million yen (dlrs 4.04 million) venture will begin producing electroluminescent panels for mobile phones, digital cameras and personal digital assistants in April at a Sanyo facility in central Japan, said Akinori Yabata, spokesman for Kodak Japan Ltd.

Kodak Japan is a Japan subsidiary wholly owned by the Rochester, New York-based Eastman Kodak Co., the world's biggest photography company.

Sanyo, one of Japan's largest electronics companies, will take a 60 percent stake in the venture, with the U.S. film giant holding the other 40 percent, Yabata said.

The venture partners are targeting sales of 50 billion yen (dlrs 404.78 million) by fiscal 2004 and plan to expand their production line eventually to include larger-scale applications such as EL panels for televisions, the spokesman said.

EL panels are being touted as a next-generation replacement for liquid crystal displays, or LCDs, with the global market projected to grow to 300 billion yen (dlrs 2.42 billion) over the next four years, according to Japan's Nihon Keizai financial newspaper.