There's plenty of moving and shaking in the television / display business these days, with everyone from Samsung to Hon Hai to Sharp to Sony making significant changes in recent months. Now, Philips is joining that crowd. Display profits have been largely sinking over the past few years, making it harder and harder for companies to turn a nice profit on HDTVs. Margins are razor thin, and competition is incredibly fierce. In order to adjust to the changing realities of business, Philips is transitioning their television business into a joint venture with TPV Technology. The new entity will be named TP Vision, and it'll be 70% owned by TPV and 30% by Philips. TP Vision will develop, manufacture and market Philips branded TV sets.
The completion of the agreement comes after the necessary merger clearance, governmental and TPV shareholder approvals were obtained. TP Vision, with headquarters in Amsterdam, will be led by Mr. Maarten de Vries. TP Vision will combine the design expertise and innovative Philips TV heritage with the manufacturing scale, and operational excellence, of TPV.
"TP Vision will be a strong player in the global TV market and will ensure the continuity of the Philips TV brand in the markets," said Philips Chief Executive Officer Frans van Houten. "TP Vision will leverage the strength of the Philips brand, innovation power and trade relationships, with the additional scale and manufacturing strengths of TPV. The TV partnership with TPV enables Philips to focus on expanding market leadership positions across our Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting sectors."
"We are glad to have Philips as a partner in this Television joint venture," said TPV Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jason Hsuan. "This partnership will enhance Philips' brand position in the TV space and bring sustainable returns to both shareholders. Philips and TPV have been partners for many years and we are confident that together we can become a major player in Television globally."
"TP Vision is here to stay and grow profitably,'' said TP Vision Chief Executive Officer Maarten de Vries. "TP Vision will continue to bring the high level of innovation consumers expect from a Philips TV. Our recently launched 2012 series have everything to enjoy the world of digital content delivered via broadcasting and the Web. We believe in creating products that touch the human senses and are within reach of all consumers in the markets we operate in."
TP Vision will be responsible for the design, manufacturing, distribution, marketing and sales of Philips' Television worldwide, with the exception of mainland China, India, United States, Canada, Mexico and certain countries in South America. As part of the transaction, the Philips Television innovation and manufacturing sites, commercial organizations, headquarters and employee base of close to 3,300 will transfer to TP Vision.
All of this is a nice way to say that Philips is getting out while they still can, and perhaps this marks the end of innovative ideas in the TV realm from the company. Things like illuminated bezels and a 21:9 set all came from Philips' labs, but hopefully those concepts won't just die on the vine with the new arrangement.