Sony Corp has decided against raising its stake in a liquid crystal display (LCD) television panel joint venture with Sharp from the current 7 per cent, and instead will step up panel procurement from Taiwanese makers to save costs, the Yomiuri Shimbun said on Saturday.
Behind Sony's decision is a global decline in television sales and the yen's continued strength, the paper said in its evening edition. Sony's LCD TV business posted losses for the sixth straight year last year and is expected to stay in the red again this financial year.
Under the latest plan, Sony will raise its panel procurement from Taiwanese makers to about 50 percent from the current 30 per cent in a move that could also hurt Sharp's LCD business strategy, the paper also said without citing sources. A Sony spokesman said the Yomiuri's report was based on speculation.
Sony had initially planned to invest about 68 billion yen ($808.8 million) by April 2011 to take as much as a one-third stake in the joint venture with Sharp to produce LCD panels at a cutting-edge plant in western Japan.