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Sumitomo acquires Cambridge Display Technology

09 Aug 2007

The Japanese group aims to position P-OLEDs as the next mainstream display technology.

Six years after the initial links between the companies and two years after the formation of the Sumation joint venture, Sumitomo has demonstrated its continuing faith in Cambridge Display Technology (CDT) by acquiring the company outright in an agreement worth $285 million.

The acquisition is said by Sumitomo to demonstrate the company's wish to position its display materials business as one of its strategically important markets and an area of focus for its business resources. "We have built a close cooperative relationship with CDT, and the complete integration of both companies' technological assets will make it possible to greatly accelerate development," said Hiromasa Yonekura, president of Sumitomo Chemical.

CDT has developed polymer organic light emitting diodes (P-OLEDs) based on organic chemicals that emit light when stimulated electrically, and the resulting devices are used in electronic displays for information management, communications and entertainment.

The Sumation joint venture was created to combine the chemicals manufacturing experience of Sumitomo with the P-OLED development know-how of CDT. The Lumation business of Dow Chemical was purchased by Sumitomo Chemical and transferred to Sumation in 2005.

Significant market growth is predicted for P-OLEDs as these products displace current technologies in large panel televisions and lighting applications. "P-OLED is looking ever more likely to become the next mainstream display technology," said David Fyfe, chairman and CEO of CDT. "The acquisition will significantly enhance the prospects for P-OLED technology adaptation, and is in the best interest of the global display industry."

The acquisition is expected to close during the third or fourth quarter of 2007.

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