Panasonic sells image sensor business to Taiwan firm, says report

Panasonic sells image sensor business
Panasonic has reportedly sold its unprofitable image sensor business to Taiwan's Nuvaton Technology, leaving Sony to dominate the market. (Panasonic)

With companies such as Sony moving to dominate the image sensor market, some rivals have decided to exit the business. Panasonic is the latest one, as the electronics giant is selling its money-bleeding chipmaking business to Taiwan’s Nuvoton Technology, according to Nikkei Asian Review.

Reuters report said the deal is worth $250 million.

According to reports, Panasonic, in the chipmaking business since 1952, has faced tough sledding in the sensors market, where Sony makes an estimated 50% of all imaging sensors and 70% of all smartphone camera sensors.

Panasonic Semiconductor reportedly lost $215 million in the previous fiscal year with revenues of about $842 million, according to Nikkei. While the company has reportedly been trying to turn around its semiconductor business this year, it decided to sell it off as the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China has caused demand to plummet.

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The company reported said in a statement, “Panasonic has concluded the best option would be to transfer the (semiconductor) business to Nuvoton [as] the competitive environment surrounding the semiconductor business has become extremely severe.”

The all-cash deal includes the TowerJazz Panasonic Semiconductor joint venture (excluding Tower’s stake). The deal is reportedly expected to close by June 2020.

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