Hitachi, Matsushita, Toshiba to form LCD venture

Three of Japan's largest electronics companies, Hitachi, Toshiba and Matsushita Electric, have reached a basic agreement to create a joint venture to manufacture and sell LCD panels for televisions, the companies said Tuesday.

Plans call for the new company to begin operations in January 2005 and for Hitachi to own 50 percent of its shares. Matsushita, which is better known by its Panasonic brand name, and Toshiba will each own equal shares of up to 25 percent. The three companies are planning to solicit additional investment from other companies up to a total of 8 percent of the as-yet-unnamed company, they said at a Tokyo news conference.

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