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LGD to establish JV with iRiver for e-book readers
Press release, June 14; Yvonne Yu, DIGITIMES [Monday 14 June 2010]

LG Display (LGD) has announced plans to establish an e-book reader joint venture (JV) with iRiver to reinforce its presence in the fast-growing global e-book reader market.

LGD signed an agreement with iRiver to establish a JV for the OEM development, production and sales of e-books readers. The agreement is subject to approval by the board of directors.

Under the agreement, the two companies will establish a JV named L&I Electronic Technology (Dongguan) Limited in Dongguan, Guangdong Province in China after receiving approval from relevant authorities. LGD and iRiver will make equity investments of 51% and 49% respectively for initial capital of US$5 million.

The JV will start production at iRiver's existing e-book reader plant in Dongguan in September 2010 with a goal of reaching one million units in annual production by 2011. Furthermore, production may be expanded to include new applications such as e-Textbooks and e-Newspapers, LGD said.

With LGD's EPD technology and iRiver's e-book reader product development capacities, the JV will be equipped to provide customers with ODM or OEM services, it said.

Through the JV with iRiver, LGD will be able to further expand its customer base by securing a stable and long-term EPD customer. Additionally, its entry into the e-book reader industry will allow LGD to assume a larger role in the e-book reader market, it said.

LGD's executive VP and head of mobile/OLED business unit Eddie Yeo said, "LGD decided to establish a joint venture with iRiver to supply customers with more competitive products as part of our upstream-downstream business transformation strategy. LGD will utilize its advanced EPD technologies to achieve early commercial production of color and flexible EPD and reach the global number one position by 2012."

Jae Woo Lee, CEO of iRiver said, "The joint venture is significant in that iRiver has now secured the foundation to produce more stable and competitive products. Once our mutual technical and manufacturing abilities start producing synergies, I am confident that our joint venture will grow into a leading global producer of e-books."

According to market researcher DisplaySearch, the e-book reader market is expected to reach from an estimated US$350 million in 2009 to hit US$1.2 billion in 2011 and US$1.73 billion in 2015.

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