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Rohm and Haas pays $40m for OLED expertise

11 Apr 2008

The chemicals company's acquisition of OLED specialist Gracel Display is the latest evidence of its push into display technologies and optical films.

“The future of this technology is very bright. ”

The Display Technologies segment of Rohm and Haas has grown once again, with the purchase for $40 million of South Korea-based Gracel Display and its portfolio of OLED materials.

"Gracel has an excellent track record of innovation and an established customer base," commented Yi Hyon Paik of Rohm's Electronic Materials group, an umbrella for its Display Technologies and Electronic Technologies segments. "The future of this technology is very bright."

Rohm and Haas has invested $270 million in building up the Display Technologies business unit over the last 12 months, evidence of the major role the company intends flat panel displays and related technologies to play in its overall portfolio.

This strategy became clear when Rohm acquired the light-management films business of Eastman Kodak in June 2007, complementing Rohm's existing portfolio of flat-panel materials. At the end of the year the formation of SKC Haas Display Films, a joint venture with SKC Company to develop advanced optical and functional films used in the flat-panel display industry, kept up the momentum.

These businesses have since been consolidated into a new Display Technologies segment to accommodate the significant allocation of resources to Rohm's flat-panel display interests, which had previously been a part of the company's broader semiconductor technologies unit.

The Electronic Materials franchise is named as a specific focus of Rohm's corporate development strategy, known as Vision 2010. This calls for increasing investment in flat-panel and associated technologies as a key element in positioning Rohm's portfolio in technologies showing the fastest growth.

"Rohm and Haas has accelerated investment in growth platforms," said Pierre Brondeau, Rohm and Haas executive vice president. "We have focused on building a world-class Display Technologies business. OLED is a smart addition to our growing stable of products." With Rohm's drive into display technologies very much underway, others seem likely to follow.

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