Less than three years after completing construction of a huge LCD TV factory in Nitra, Slovakia, Sony has signed a deal to sell 90% of the shares in the plant to giant Taiwanese manufacturer Hon Hai.
Hon Hai, which is Taiwan's largest private company, will take control of the plant, which was designed to focus on the manufacture of high-end larger-screen Bravia TVs. Sony will retain a 10%, and will lease part of the facility back from Hon Hai to serve as a logistics base for its Sony Supply Chain Solutions Europe subsidiary.
Along with a second factory in Barcelona, Nitra accounts for the majority of Sony LCD TVs sold in Europe. Established in August 2007, the 54-hectare site was designed to have a production capacity of 3m TVs, and to employ around 3000 people.
At the moment it employs around 2500, who will transfer over to Hon Hai when the comes into effect at the end of September, subject to regulatory approvals.
Hon Hai has manufacturing companies in countries including China, where it employs 270,000 of its 550,000 total staff, the UK, the USA, the Czech Republic, Hungary, South America, India and Vietnam. It also has development centres in the USA and Japan.
More after the break
Among the products it makes are the Mac mini, iPod, iPhone and iPad for Apple, the PS2 and PS3 for Sony, the Nintendo Wii and the Microsoft Xbox 360. Founded in 1974 as a plastics manufacturing company, in 2008 it had revenues of over £50bn.