Samsung and Corning have announced a plan to strengthen on their product and technology collaborations with “a series of strategic and financial agreements” that will see the South Korean electronics firm own a 7.4% stake in the Gorilla Glass maker. The two have been involved in one way or another for over 40 years through equity investments, product development and commercialization initiatives, according to the press release.
Under the agreement, Corning will acquire Samsung’s 43% stake in their Samsung Corning Precision Materials joint venture for $1.9 billion, as well as that of other minority investors for around $300 million. Meanwhile, the South Korean firm will make an additional $400 million investment in Corning, which combined with its current share count would result in the aforementioned 7.4% ownership stake in the company.
The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014. As part of the deal the two will also sign a new 10-year LCD display glass supply agreement that will add about $2 billion to Corning's annual sales.
According to Corning, its investors will see an almost immediate benefit with diluted earnings per share going up 20% in 2014 and 2015. By leveraging SCP’s manufacturing assets, the company also says it will have greater flexibility in servicing customers, managing capacity, and minimizing capital spending while expanding production of Corning Gorilla Glass and pursuing new specialty glass applications.
Corning’s scratch resistant Gorilla Glass is used in most high-end smartphones and tablets, including those made by Samsung, Apple, HTC and Motorola. Samsung itself also supplies many of its rivals with a number of components including LCD displays, processors and memory chips.