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Pioneer Inks Deal To Buy NEC’s Plasma Production

Tokyo — NEC said it plans to sell its plasma display manufacturing business to Pioneer, in a move that could make Pioneer the world’s largest manufacturer of plasma display panels.

NEC said it had agreed to sell the plasma business to focus on its core operations — IT networks solutions and semiconductors.

It will retain its Visual Systems division, which produces plasma panels primarily for commercial markets. Pioneer plans to manufacture plasma panels under both the Pioneer and NEC brands.

Neither company released details, but Japanese reports pegged the purchase at about $379 million.

Pioneer expects its plasma display market share to rise from 14 percent, as estimated by analysts, to a predicted 22 percent.