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NEC, Casio and Hitachi to Merge Handset Manufacturing Divisions

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Three Japanese companies, NEC, Casio and Hitachi have announced plans to merge their respective mobile phone divisions into a single joint venture.

NEC currently develops and manufactures mobile terminals for NTT DoCoMo and SoftBank Mobile. In 2004, Casio and Hitachi jointly established Casio Hitachi Mobile Communications (CHMC) and provides mainly CDMA focused mobile handsets for KDDI and SoftBank Mobile in Japan as well as Verizon Wireless in the USA and LG Telecom in South Korea.

The new company will boast a portfolio of products that draws from the complete integration of business functions between NEC's Mobile Terminal Operations Unit and CHMC, as well as merges the advanced technologies and product development experience of each company.

The new company will be called NEC CASIO Mobile Communications and is expected to start working as a unit from next April.

At merger, the shareholders will be NEC: 66%, Casio: 17.34% and Hitachi: 16.66%, but a capital injection by NEC and Casio into the new company will change that to NEC: 70.74%, Casio: 20% and Hitachi: 9.26%. The board of directors will be made up solely of NEC and Casio representatives.

Other terms and conditions relating to the merger of the newly established subsidiary with CHMC are currently under discussion.

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