JapanDisplay (JPDYY) , which relies more than half of its revenue from Apple (AAPL) - Get Report will receive up to ¥75 billion ($639 million) from Japan's public-private fund in a bid to escape from its loss-making demise.
The Tokyo-based maker of screens for smart devices will issue unsecured subordinated convertible bonds with stock acquisition rights to the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, and also receive subordinated funds from the public-private backed fund, the company said in a statement Wednesday released after markets closed in Tokyo.
Japan Display shares closed Wednesday up 2.5% at ¥366.00, taking the year-to-date advance to 4.3%.
Japan Display, which generates 53.7% of its revenue on Apple, making it the third-most reliant supplier to the iPhone maker, has booked losses for two consecutive fiscal years - ¥32 billion in the year ended March 2016 -- and remained in the red in the most recent quarter.
Japan Display admitted that its over-reliance on smartphones, which account for 80% of its total sales, has put it in an unstable position, and that it was now aiming to boost the proportion of non-mobile applications, such as the automotive area.
Recent moves to back this statement include sample shipments of a curved LCD for automotives, as well as a new LCD designed for virtual-reality head-mount displays. The company also pointed to displays for notebook PCs, aviation, healthcare and education as areas of development.
Separately, Japan Display also said it would boost its voting rights in JOLED to 51% from 15% to make the OLED maker a subsidiary. JOLED was established by the INCJ last year in an effort to develop, manufacture and sell all things OLED-related, from manufacturing equipment to panels. The Fund still holds 75% in JOLED, while Sony (SNE) - Get Report and Panasonic (PCRFY) each hold 5%.
Apple has invested an unspecified amount in Japan Display's Ishikawa plant in northwest Japan for manufacturing LCDs for its iPhone. The plant could also be used to make OLEDs, which Apple is likely to switch to for its iPhones for 2017. Indeed, Japan Display has also committed to continued development of OLEDs, which provide an advantage over LCDs in viewing angles and color contrast.
Japan Display said it believes OLED displays can be used not just in smartphones, but also to tablets, notebook PCS, and automotive displays.
INCJ, backed both by the government and the private sector, was established in 2009 with an aim to provide support to the country's electronics and technology sector.
As of March 2015, INCJ owned 35.6% of Japan Display, according to its annual report. UBS owned 7.5%, while Sony and Toshiba owned 1.8%.
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