Lite-On acquires BenQ's optical disk drive factories

Lite-On Technology bought the optical disk drive manufacturing operations of BenQ for NT$1.2 billion and a 13 percent stake.

Taiwanese optical disk drive maker Lite-On Technology has acquired the optical disk drive manufacturing operations of BenQ, making Lite-On the world's second biggest producer of the storage devices, it announced on Monday.

Lite-On will pay BenQ NT$1.2 billion (AUD$51 million) and give it a 13 percent stake in return for the business. The deal includes BenQ's customer portfolio for optical drive manufacturing, as well as the right to use its technology portfolio.

BenQ's joint venture with Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV, Philips BenQ Digital Storage, will not be affected by the deal, said Shaeffer Lee, president of BenQ. Philips BenQ will continue to design and develop optical drives, while Lite-On will manufacture the drives instead of BenQ, he said.

Lite-On, which already produces optical drives for customers such as Sony Corp. and NEC Corp., will hold a 27 percent share of global production in the devices, it said.

"Lite-On also expects to benefit from increased manufacturing efficiency, greater economies of scale, and a larger market share," said Raymond Soong, chairman of Lite-On.

It's the second big deal in a few days for BenQ Chairman K.Y. Lee. Another company he chairs, LCD (liquid crystal display) panel maker AU Optronics, announced on Friday a US$2.2 billion agreement to acquire smaller rival Quanta Display.

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Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service
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