The Japan Display Inc group is seeking to raise $900 million (roughly Rs. 5,854 crores) to mass produce OLED panels using new technology that will slash costs, the Nikkei business daily reported, sending shares in the Apple Inc supplier surging 25 percent.
A Japan Display affiliate, JOLED, has been working on a lower-cost “printing” process with plans to start mass production of medium-sized screens for medical equipment monitors and automotive dashboards in late 2018 or early 2019.
JOLED, currently majority owned by a state-backed fund, has approached dozens of investors including Sony Corp and Canon Inc to raise JPY 100 billion, the Nikkei said in its report – one of the first indications that those plans are starting take shape.
The Nikkei said the new panels are expected to be as much as 40 percent cheaper than products from South Korean leaders, noting that Samsung Electronics Co uses a higher-cost “evaporation” method in its OLED panels.
Japan Display said in a statement the reported details were not something it announced but that it was considering ways to utilise its domestic factories for mass production of OLED panels. A JOLED spokeswoman said that if it does begin mass-production with the new technology, it believes it would be a world first.
Japan Display, a laggard in OLED, also has separate plans to use the evaporation method to mass-produce smaller screens for smartphones from 2019 and is considering tapping new investors to fund that move.
Shares in Japan Display rocketed higher on the news and were trading 25 percent higher in afternoon trade.