Continuing to distance itself from involvement in LCD TV panel production, Samsung Display, the major global supplier of flat-panel display modules to Samsung Electronics and other global customers, revealed Monday that it has sold its majority stake in a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) factory in Suzhou, China to CSOT.

In the deal, CSOT acquired a 60% stake in Samsung Suzhou LCD (SSL) and a 100% stake in Suzhou Display (SSM) for the equivalent of $1.08 billion, according to reports out of South Korea.

Samsung Suzhou LCD’s ownership structure is now divided between a 60% ownership position by CSOT, 30% by the Suzhou government and 10% owned by CSOT parent, TCL, according to a report on Korean business news site

Samsung Display reportedly plans to use $739 million secured from the sale to take a 12% investment stake in CSOT, and the $341 million secured from selling its 100% stake in Suzhou Display will be used for liquidity.

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Faced with declining profitability from LCD production as competitors, mostly from China, expanded and grew, Samsung Display previously announced its intention to exit the LCD business, while investing an announced 13 trillion won over five years in next-generation quantum dot (QD) displays.

It continues to own 7th-generation LCD factory lines in South Korea, but is in the process of changing over its Korean LCD production to new QD Display panels and small- to mid-sized organic light emitting diode (OLED) panels, the reports said.

Samsung Display will focus on production of foldable OLED panels and quantum dot nanorod displays (QNED) going forward, and expects to secure QNED production technology by 2021.

The company is also involved in the production and development of Micro LED module technology that produces very large screen sizes with better picture performance than OLED TVs.

The Suzhou line was an 8th generation fab, accounting for 27% of Samsung Display’s total LCD production, the reports said.

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By Greg Tarr

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