December 23, 2008 / 4:40 AM / in 9 years

Funai to acquire Philips N.America DVD ops - paper

TOKYO, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Japan’s Funai Electric Co 6839.OS will take over Philips’ PHG.AS North American DVD, Blu-ray and other audiovisual operations, on top of the Dutch firm’s TV business in the region that Funai had already acquired, the Nikkei business daily said.

The move, which would combine Funai’s expertise in low-cost production and Philips’ brand name, is expected to boost Funai’s North American sales by 30 billion yen ($332 million), the newspaper said.

Funai’s North American operations posted 181.1 billion yen in revenues in the year to end-March, accounting for 65 percent of total sales.

Under the deal, due to be wrapped up next month, Funai will make royalty payments to use the Philips brand, instead of an outright payment for Philips’ North American audiovisual business, the Nikkei said.

Funai officials were not immediately available for comment on Tuesday, a public holiday in Japan.

The consumer electronics maker sells a large portion of its products, including Blu-ray players and LCD TVs, in the United States through Wal-Mart Stores Inc WMT.N.

Philips said in April it would transfer its struggling North American TV business to Funai, as part of its move to focus on higher-margin operations. (Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka, Editing by Ian Geoghegan)

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