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AU Optronics Snaps Up Quanta Display

Taichung, Taiwan — Taiwan’s largest LCD panel maker, AU Optronics (AUO), announced plans to take over rival Quanta Display by the fall.

AUO said it plans to acquire Quanta through a one share of AUO to 3.5 shares of Quanta Display stock swap. The deal, which is valued at $2.2 billion, awaits shareholder approvals and is expected to be completed in October, AUO said.

AUO is the world’s third-largest maker of TFT LCD panels by sales after Samsung and LG.Philips LCD, both of South Korea. The acquisition would grow AUO’s LCD market share from 15 percent to 19 percent, the company said.

Market leaders Samsung and LG.Philips have been estimated to each hold 22 percent of the global LCD market.

AUO was formed in the 2001 through the merger of Acer Display Technology and Unipac Optoelectronics.

K.Y. Lee, the chairman and chief executive officer of AUO, will remain in those roles after the acquisition. C.C. Liang, the vice chairman of Quanta Display will become vice chairman of AUO.

In its preliminary consolidated March report, AUO said shipments of large-sized panels was unchanged at 3.19 million, a 1 percent increase from February. Shipments of small- and medium-sized panels rose 34.1 percent sequentially to 6.36 million.