Samsung to Sell Suzhou Gen 8.5 LCD Fab to CSoT
Previously we reported on the potential sale of Samsung Display’s Suzhou, China Gen 8.5 LCD fab to CSoT as well as CSoT purchase of some CEC panda fabs. The Korean press indicted that the fab has been sold to CSoT for $1.08b US, with CSOT owning 60%, TCL itself owning 10%, and the Suzhou government owning 30%. In addition, Samsung Display invested $739m of the proceeds in CSoT, giving it a 12.33% stake in the company, making it the 2nd largest shareholder, behind TCL.
CSoT would be operating three Gen 8.5 LCD fabs and one Gen 11 LCD fab, with a 2nd Gen 11 LCD fab to begin production in 1H 2021 in addition to a Gen 8.6 fab from CEC-Panda. The addition of the Suzhou fab will increase CSoT’s LCD capacity by 27.04% with a 13.9% share up from 8.5% at the end of 2019, and 10.1% in 2Q 2020 (through its own expansion and reductions in overall LCD capacity by Samsung Display and LG Display making it the 2nd largest LCD panel producer by capacity, behind BOE.
The Suzhou fab was developed as part of a JV between Samsung Display and the Suzhou government at a cost of $3b US. Samsung Display was originally to own 80% of the venture but share was changed in 2009 with Samsung Display owning 50%, the affiliate 10%, the Chinese government 30% and TCL 10%. At the time, Samsung also purchased a 15% stake in TCL. Mass production began in 2013 (~$3b total cost). The fab had an initial capacity of 120,000 sheets/month, which was increased to 125,000.