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Samsung buys out Sony's share in LCD joint venture

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Samsung Electronics is to buy out Sony's entire stake in the firms' liquid crystal display (LCD) joint venture.

The Korean tech giant has agreed to pay 1.08tn won ($939m; £600m) for its partner's share of the S-LCD business, reports Reuters.

The announcement comes in the wake of reports that Sony is overhauling its television division following ongoing losses over the last seven years.

Samsung was previously named as the world's leading manufacturer of televisions and flat screen monitors.

"Under the agreement, Samsung will acquire all of Sony's shares of S-LCD Corporation, the two companies' LCD panel manufacturing joint venture, making S-LCD a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung," read a statement from the company.

Sony and Samsung set up the S-LCD joint venture in 2004, when demand for LCD screens was high. However, since the financial crisis of 2008, global demand for such devices has fallen dramatically.

"In order to respond to such challenging conditions and to strengthen their respective market competitiveness, the two companies have agreed to shift to a new LCD panel business alliance," Samsung added.

Samsung will continue to develop LCD screens for Sony, though the latter will no longer run a manufacturing facility to produce them.

Keita Wakabayashi, analyst at Mito Securities in Tokyo, predicted that the new agreement will be mutually beneficial, but noted that Sony should have offloaded its share of the ailing business sooner.

"In terms of direction it is positive. But if they are making a loss on the sale, one could ask why they didn't make this decision sooner," he said.

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