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InFocus, TCL Form Joint Venture

WILSONVILLE, ORE. – Video projector manufacturer InFocus and China-based consumer electronics manufacturer TCL Corp. have signed a definitive agreement to form 50-50-owned joint venture company for the development, manufacturing and sales of rear- and front-projection engines for projectors.

The new company, which will be called South Mountain Technologies (SMT), will have headquarters in Shenzhen, China. The company will use engineering teams from InFocus’ U.S. and Norway operations and TCL’s laboratories in China.

The joint venture will consist of an offshore parent holding company with three wholly owned subsidiaries; a manufacturing research and development subsidiary in Shenzhen, China; and research and development centers in the United States and Norway.

David Glass, InFocus’ worldwide research and development senior VP, will be SMT’s chief executive officer.

Previously the two companies have worked together through the Thomson-TCL Electronics joint venture company, which produces televisions for the global market. TTE had used an InFocus-developed DLP engine to produce and market the world’s thinnest rear projection television set.

InFocus and TCL will each invest $10 million in 2005 to startup the joint venture. Initially, each company will spend up to $1.5 million to cover start up and organizational expenses, pending approval of the transaction by Chinese governmental authorities, TCL said.

According to a statement on the project, SMT plans to begin shipping rear-projection engines for sale in the second quarter of 2005.