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Matsushita, Toshiba Advances CRT Joint Venture

3/28/2003 12:32:00 PM Eastern

TROY, Ohio & HORSEHEADS, N.Y. - Cathode Ray Tube manufacturers Matsushita Display Devices and Toshiba Display Devices have joined forces in a new joint CRT joint venture company called Matsushita Toshiba Picture Display Co., Ltd.

The new operation, which was first announced last Fall by Matsushita Electric Industrial and Toshiba Corporation, will integrate global CRT operations of the two companies, including R&D, manufacturing, and sales, making it "the world's third largest CRT company," the companies said in a prepared statement.

The new company will employ over 15,700 people worldwide, and becomes the largest manufacturer of 32-inch and 36-inch CRT products in North America.

Matsushita will own 64.5 percent of the joint venture while Toshiba will own 35.5 percent.

Minoru Ueda from Matsushita has been named president of the new company, while Toshiba Corporate VP, Eisaburo Hamano, has been named VP.

Masayuki (Mike) Nakamoto will direct the North American Operations of the joint venture, which includes manufacturing facilities in Troy, Ohio and Horseheads, N.Y., as well as sales offices in Chicago and San Diego.

Shigekazu Shibata will continue as president and CEO of Toshiba Display Devices in Horseheads, NY.

The Troy facility began production in 1988 as American Matsushita Electronics Corporation, which through successive corporate changes became Matsushita Display Devices Corporation of America, a subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial in January 2003.

Employing over 1,350 employees, the facility has experienced continuous growth over the past five years, adding manufacturing facilities exceeding $250 million dollars in capital investments.

The Troy Facility has five manufacturing lines and a capacity to produce 6,000,000 CRTs annually.

Toshiba Display Devices' (TDD) Horseheads, NY manufacturing facility has made capital investments in excess of $150 million dollars over the last five years.

The Horseheads plant began production in 1986 as part of a joint venture with Westinghouse. In 1989, Toshiba purchased sole ownership. Today, TDD employs more than 1,150 employees in the production of very large screen television tubes.

TDD is a leading supplier of flat screen 32-inch and 36-inch picture tubes in North America.

"This new venture draws on the strengths of two leading electronics companies - Matsushita, best known for its Panasonic brand, and Toshiba - to build a new force in the global market," noted Matsushita Toshiba Picture Display Director, Mike Nakamoto. "Together, with our excellent combined workforce and proven results, we will continue to evolve and answer the growing global demand for super-large flat tubes and projection tubes for digital and high-definition broadcasting." 

Asked about what changes can be expected from the joint venture, TDD President and CEO, Shigekazu Shibata replied, 'We will look for ways to leverage our management and employee resources into becoming the number one CRT producer in North America. We expect to be able to do this by strengthening our cost competitiveness through standardization of products and design.  We will also be able to compare processes and procedures in an effort to develop best practices at each of our facilities. This Joint Venture is an important step in our evolution."