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Samsung spins off loss-making LCD biz

Newly independent telly-maker may slurp OLED unit as well

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Samsung Electronics has decided to split off its LCD division into a separate company in the hopes of turning the loss-making business around.

The Korean company proved the rumours circulating last week with regulatory filings announcing that its LCD unit would be spun off into a new firm – which will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics.

"By being an independently operated company specialising in display panels going forward, our LCD business will be able to strengthen its competitiveness based on the select and focused strategy and take an advantageous position in the future display market ahead of competitors, thereby achieving continuous growth," the Korean parent firm said in its filing (PDF).

The new TV biz will be launching with equity of 750 billion won ($668m), which is coincidentally the same amount of money as the unit's operating loss in 2011.

The break-up will be official on 1 April, at which point the new business will start off by itself, but Samsung's filing said it was considering the possibility of merging it with Samsung Mobile Display and S-LCD.

Mobile Display is the electronics giant's OLED panel-making unit and S-LCD was previously a joint venture with Sony making LCDs, but is now all Samsung's.

Having its LCD business slurp its OLED unit (or vice versa) would make sense if Samsung, like other TV-makers, is considering using OLED for its next generation of televisions.

Samsung is planning to spend 6.6 trillion won ($5.9bn) on its display businesses this year, including LCD and OLED. ®

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