Hisense has agreed to buy Toshiba’s TV business for ¥12.9 billion (£86.6 million).
Hisense Electric, a subsidiary of the Hisense Group, agreed the takeover today (November 14), which will see it purchase 95 per cent of shares in Toshiba Visual Solutions Corporation (TVS).
TVS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Toshiba Corporation, will continue to own the remaining five per cent of stock rights.
The acquisition will see the combined Japanese TV market share for Hisense and Toshiba hit 20 per cent.
According to financial services company IHS, Hisense’s market share for TVs is the highest among all of the foreign brands in Japan.
Hisense will obtain the TV business including production, research and development (R&D), and sales functions.
TVS will acquire a worldwide licence to use the Toshiba brand in connection with its visual solutions products and services for a 40-year period.
Hisense chief executive Liu Hongxin said that the company would “optimise TVS’s resources on R&D, supply chain and global sales channels by cooperating with and supporting each other’s display technology”.
He added that it would provide “competitive content operation services for smart TVs for the global market and accomplish continued and fast growth in the Japanese market”.
A statement from Vestel confirmed that the acquisition would not impact its licensing agreement with Toshiba.
It said: “Vestel would like to confirm that the sale of Toshiba’s TV business will not affect the brand licensing agreement that it has in place for Toshiba TV production and sales across Europe. Vestel remains committed to this pan-European brand licensing business and looks forward to maintaining and building on its success over the course of the coming years.”
In a statement, Hisense told ERT: “Regarding the use of the Toshiba brand, Hisense will continue to respect and carry through existing regional contracts with authorised franchisees of the Toshiba brand. Hisense will maintain friendly negotiations and dialogue with said parties to further strengthen and grow the Toshiba brand worldwide. Hisense will employ a double-brand strategy moving forward with the Toshiba brand and its own.
“Hisense will share R&D, sourcing, manufacturing and sales resources with Toshiba. Toshiba throughout the years have accumulated many strengths in TV and display field technologies as a top-ranked global electronics brand, while Hisense has incredible advantages in new display technologies, smart TV platforms, content operation services, and Laser TV technology. The acquisition would lead to shortened production cycles for Toshiba and reduce development costs. Hisense will integrate its supply chain resources with Toshiba to take advantage of its cost advantages in sourcing and manufacturing to improve the market competitiveness and profitability of Toshiba products.”
The statement added: “Hisense and Toshiba will share global channel resources to strengthen the promotion of Toshiba’s products in Japan and beyond by combining Hisense’s highly-efficient sales network together with Toshiba’s reputable brand.”
TVS has two factories in Japan, as well as a “significant” intellectual property portfolio, which includes patents related to TV image quality and acoustics.