Pioneer is set to take advantage of its new relationship with Sharp by selling Pioneer branded LCD TVs, a Pioneer Japan insider has told SmartHouse. It is also set to jointly develop new Blu-ray players and home theatre kits.

18 months ago Pioneer Australia was knoocked back by Pioneer Japan from selling OEM made HD LCD TVs in Australia. Now through the new relationship with Sharp, which last week purchased a 14 percent stake in Pioneer for $US365 million, the situation could change.

Under the deal Sharp gets 30 million newly-issued shares in its Japanese rival. This makes Sharp the largest shareholder in Pioneer Electronics. Pioneer will reciprocate by buying 10 million shares in Sharp valued at $US171.4 million.

It is also tipped that Sharp could start selling Sharp branded home theatre kits developed by Pioneer. The companies jointly said they will use the new joining as an opportunity to develop Blu-ray DVDs, as well as audio and car electronics and LCD displays.

Currently, Sharp produces the blue-violet laser diodes for Blu-ray Disc players while Pioneer made the drive module technology necessary for the optical disk format.

“As you know, there is harsh global competition in the electronics business field,” said Mikio Katayama, Sharp president/COO, in remarks announcing the deal. “Technology has been developing significantly faster compared to the past. Regarding industry trends, it is not an exaggeration to say that we cannot predict one year ahead, or half a year, or even three months ahead. In this environment, if we tried to cover all the necessary technology by ourselves, it would take considerable amounts of time, human resources and expenses. This might cause us to miss big opportunities.

“So, in order to cover core technology and know-how that we do not have, we believe a strategic business alliance is needed,” he added.  


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