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September 26, 2017

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E Ink to acquire AUO's e-paper display supplier

TAIPEI--E Ink Holdings Inc., the world's largest electronic paper display (EPD) supplier, has agreed to acquire its counterpart SiPix Technology Inc., a subsidiary of flat panel supplier AU Optronics Corp. (AUO), for up to NT$1.5 billion (US$50 million).

E Ink Chairman Scott Liu said the acquisition is scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year, adding the deal is expected to bring about benefits over the next two to three years as E Ink and SiPix complement each other in production technology.

According to E Ink, SiPix's technology applies to a wide range of products, including 3C displays, pricing labels and credit cards, with its monthly production capacity at about 400,000 units.

Liu said his company spent just one month in negotiating with AUO and other shareholders of SiPix to reach the acquisition agreement. In addition to AUO, investors in the EPD supplier include Goldman Sachs, ING Barings and chemical company BASF, according to SiPix's website.

SiPix, capitalized at more than NT$1 billion, operates a research and development center in California and two production lines in Taiwan, employing about 350 employees.

E Ink said as both companies own many EPD patents, it will be unnecessary after the acquisition for E Ink to worry about possible patent infringement disputes involving each other's technology.

Based on both sides' production strengths, E Ink also expects the combined company will make quick progress in developing innovative technology and churning out new products.

For its part, AUO said it will make NT$300 million in profit by disposing of the SiPix stake it owns.

Market analysts said the sale of the EPD assets will allow AUO to devote itself to production of high-end flat panel and small-sized active-matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) panels.

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