Updated: Sharp and NEC to Merge Display Divisions Into Joint Venture

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This story has been updated to add a letter sent to NEC Display partners and customers.

Below is the official press release from NEC Display today. Before you read it, here are my thoughts:

Unlike nearly every merger in our industry’s history, this is a new display company that will be made up of two complementary brands in NEC and Sharp. Where Sharp is weak (no projectors and a limited display line nearly completely focused on LCD), NEC Display is strong. Likewise, Sharp brings NEC a decade-long history in interactive and collaboration displays and 8K. This new company should benefit both brands equally and become an even better supplier to the industry. I am not a fan of most of the mergers that have occurred in the display market’s history but, I am in this case!

Todd Bouman, CEO of NEC Display Solutions America, contacted us to add, “We believe this joint venture will bring even greater value and benefits to our customers and partners by extending the state-of-the-art product portfolio together with a range of professional service offerings. With our joined forces, we are looking forward to enhancing our strategic opportunities under the new joint venture.”

Here is the official release from NEC:

NEC and Sharp Announce Joint Venture to Combine Display Solution Businesses

Tokyo, March 25, 2020 – NEC Corporation (NEC, TSE: 6701) and Sharp Corporation (Sharp, TSE: 6753) have agreed to create a joint venture by combining NEC Display Solutions, Ltd. (NDS), a subsidiary of NEC, with Sharp.

NDS and Sharp are two market leading brands in the production and development of visual solutions. The Sharp-NEC joint venture will allow both companies to build upon their strengths and address the visualization needs of their global customers.

NDS is widely recognized as a leading global provider of visual technology and digital signage solutions for a variety of markets. With a comprehensive, solution-oriented portfolio and reputation as a provider of high-quality displays, NDS has a strong worldwide presence with a large number of global customers.

Like NDS, Sharp is a worldwide developer of innovative business products, including professional and commercial displays, and advanced technologies like next generation 8K-Ultra High Definition monitors.

“NEC offers one of the broadest visual solutions portfolios in the industry, and with a consultancy-led sales approach, NEC is recognized as a trusted advisor and total solutions provider,” said Hisatsugu Nakatani, President, NEC Display Solutions, Ltd. “This joint venture between Sharp and NEC Display Solutions will bring even greater value and benefits to customers and partners by extending our state- of-the-art product portfolios together with a range of professional service offerings. Sharp and NEC Display Solutions follow the same strategic approach to the future of visual solutions, focusing on superior customer satisfaction enabled by high quality products, sales leadership excellence and committed relationship building.”

“The combination of Sharp’s and NDS’ international strengths is mutually complementary,” said Fujikazu Nakayama, Senior Executive Managing Officer, Sharp Corporation and BU President, Business Solutions BU. “We expect this agreement to result in a wide range of synergies, including economies of scale and business expansion in new categories, including an 8K+5G Ecosystem. Sharp believes that developing NDS as a joint venture with NEC will contribute to our business growth by enforcing our BtoB business and expanding sales.”

Under the terms of the transaction, NEC will transfer 66% ownership of NDS to Sharp, and retain a 34% equity stake in the business. The joint venture will continue to provide NEC branded products. NEC will also continue to sell the joint venture’s products and solutions to its customers around the world. The transfer is scheduled to be concluded on July 1st, 2020.

NEC Display sent the following letter out to its partners and customers the afternoon following the announcement:

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Dear valued Partners and Customers,

We are pleased to share the news with you that NEC Corporation and Sharp Corporation have agreed to create a joint venture by combining NEC Display Solutions, Ltd. (NDS), a subsidiary of NEC, with Sharp. The transfer is scheduled to close on July 1st, 2020.

NDS and Sharp are two market-leading brands in the production and development of visual solutions. The Sharp-NEC joint venture will allow both companies to build upon their strengths and address the visualization needs of their global customers.

We believe this joint venture will bring even greater value and benefits to our customers and partners by extending the state-of-the-art product portfolio together with a range of professional service offerings. With our joined forces, we are looking forward to enhancing our strategic opportunities under the new joint venture.

We thank you for your continued business support and we look forward to continuing to provide you with the highest quality products, solutions and services in the industry. We are fully committed to support your business needs.

Between now and when the joint venture is finalized on July 1st 2020, NEC Display Solutions will continue to operate as it does now. The principles we’ve been working under will continue as they have. After July 1st 2020, we will start to look at ways in which we can all benefit from the joint venture between these two companies. Both companies share an ethos in quality and innovation and synergetic plans will be announced in due course over the coming months. In the meantime, we will continue with business as usual albeit in more challenging circumstances within the current climate.

Please learn more by visiting www.necdisplay.com or www.sharpusa.com.

Sincerely yours,

Todd Bouman
President & CEO

NEC Display Solutions America