Staff On Dec 4 2000 - 8:00am

Philips, LG Electronics Merge CRT Businesses

EINDHOVEN, THE NETHERLANDS —Royal Philips Electronics is set to merge its Philips Display Components division, which had 1999 sales of $3 billion, with Seoul, South Korea-based LG Electronics' display components business, which had 1999 CRT revenue of $2.2 billion. This will create the largest television and computer monitor firm in the world. The companies have signed a letter of intent and expect to complete the merger by first-half 2001. The two will share equal control of the joint venture, which is expected to eventually do about $6 billion in annual sales. Philips—which claims the global No. 1 spot in TV-tube production and the No. 5 slot in computer monitor tubes—will be joining with global No. 3 in both TV and monitor tubes. Both companies have agreed to include their glass activities in the final agreement, and they also aim to include their plasma-technology activities. The new company will be legally established in The Netherlands, with operational headquarters in Hong Kong.

Matsushita To Make Alkaline Batteries In Thailand

OSAKA, JAPAN —Matsushita Battery Industrial Co., maker of Panasonic and National brand battery products, will produce alkaline batteries in Thailand in order to meet increasing global demand. Production is planned to begin February 2001, with an annual capacity of 100 million AA alkaline batteries. The Thai plant will become Matsushita's fifth alkaline facility, with others in Japan, Europe, and North and South America. Matsushita said production of alkaline batteries has increased 5-6 percent a year for the past several years due to increased use as a power source in appliances requiring high-power output. These products include headphone stereos, portable MD/CD players, digital cameras and game devices. The ratio of alkaline batteries among all total batteries produced has increased to 80 percent in North America, Matsushita said.

Hughes' New Investor-Relations Website Expands

EL SEGUNDO, CALIF. —Hughes Electronics Corp. and its parent General Motors Corp. have announced an expanded website designed to assist the public and investors to better understand the business dynamics driving the growth of DirecTV supplier Hughes, a provider of digital TV entertainment, satellite services and satellite-based private business networks. Hughes has expanded the investor-relations portion of its corporate website, which is linked to GM's corporate website. The new site includes extensive information designed to assist the public and those who invest in General Motors Class H common stock, which is a tracking stock tied to the financial performance of Hughes, a wholly owned subsidiary of GM.

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