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Samsung CEO: M&A deals in offing, to expand MicroLED TV facilities

Samsung is looking at multiple M&A targets and an announcement could come sooner rather than later, he says

By Jan 06, 2022 (Gmt+09:00)

Samsung's MicroLED TV
Samsung's MicroLED TV

LAS VEGAS – Samsung Electronics Co. is working on multiple M&A deals, which it could announce in the near future, as the company is seeking to further enhance its presence in the home alliance, mobile and chip businesses, its chief executive said.

Han Jong-hee, vice chairman and co-CEO of the South Korean tech giant, also said on Wednesday Samsung will ramp up its facilities in Vietnam, Mexico and Slovakia to increase the production volume of its top-premium MicroLED TVs.

“We’re pursuing a multiple number of deals in the (home appliance and mobile) set business and the (chip) component business,” he said at a media conference on the opening day of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022.

“We’re looking at short-term as well as long-term projects in terms of M&As. I don’t know which one will come first, but we’re moving faster than you think. We may deliver good news sooner or later.”

The last time Samsung, the world’s largest vendor of memory chips and smartphones, engaged in a big deal was in 2016 when it acquired Harman, a US electronics systems maker, for $8 billion.

Samsung Vice Chairman and Co-CEO Han Jong-hee at a CES 2022 press conference
Samsung Vice Chairman and Co-CEO Han Jong-hee at a CES 2022 press conference

Han, who runs Samsung’s flagship unit DX, or design experience division, which in December combined its consumer electronics, IT and mobile businesses, has been the key man behind Samsung keeping its position as the top global TV player for the past 15 years.

DRASTIC COST CUTS

The chief executive said Samsung has drastically improved its technology to arrange LED chips on substrates, slashing manufacturing costs of its MicroLED TVs by three fourths.

“Previously, we could do the arrangement for one chip after another. Now we can do the job for 24 million chips on a substrate at the same time,” he said.

With the cost cut, he said Samsung will be able to make the premium MicroLED TV more affordable for consumers.

During last year’s CES, Samsung unveiled a new 110-inch MicroLED TV, which sells at 170 million won ($141,200) a unit, putting it among the company’s most expensive TV models.

MicroLED TV uses micrometer-sized LED chips as singular pixels that can also self-illuminate, providing better resolution and higher clarity.

Samsung' MicroLED display, the Wall, installed at its building in Suwon
Samsung' MicroLED display, the Wall, installed at its building in Suwon

Han also said the company will ramp up its overseas facilities to increase the production of MicroLED TVs.

Samsung is close to completing the construction of a new TV manufacturing facility in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam dedicated for smaller 77-inch and 88-inch MicroLED TVs.

The company has already ramped up its production facilities for 110-inch MicroLED TVs at the Vietnamese plant.

“We will continue to expand production capacity at our Mexico plant, which was built last year, as well as our Slovakian factory, which is currently under construction and set for completion by March,” Han said.

Asked if Samsung is willing to buy OLED panels from rival LG Display Co. to increase TV production volumes, he said Samsung is open to "every possibility."

Write to Su-Bin Lee at lsb@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.
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