There is an interesting report out of Nikkei Net Interactive in Japan, which notes that US-based private equity giant Carlyle is buying a majority stake in a joint venture that produces LCD substrates. The terms mentioned are nearly 100 billion Yen, which would be roughly $934 million based upon today’s Dollar/Yen conversions.
This is far from one of the critical multi-billion dollar private equity buyouts, but it would throw Carlyle into the mix of LCD substrates competitors that are used in making LCD screens. That would put it in the realm of competing against LCD screen leader Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW).
NH Techno Glass Corp. is a 50/50 joint venture between Nippon Sheet Glass Co. and Hoya Corp. This joint venture is one that we actually have thought might go public if it does not get acquired. Reuters also ran a piece back in December that Bain and other private equity firms were also among the possible buyers.
It is hard to imagine that firms wouldn’t want in here if you consider all of the comments that have come out of Corning on the success and what seems like insatiable of this LCD market. Many LCD makers are still trying to secure ample supplies of materials and capacity on a cost effective basis so they do not miss the boat on sales. If you have been in the market for any larger LCD’s of late, you probably noticed how stores still are either keeping their inventories low on these or that they just cannot get much in supply on them. I know I have seen this.
Jon C. Ogg
February 25, 2008