Corning and Samsung agree on buyback for joint venture

By Marc Castro

Oct 22, 2013 10:51 PM EDT

Glass manufacturer for television sets and mobile devices Corning Inc's shares had jumped by as much as 28% after the approval of a USD2 billion buyback of shares in a joint venture with Samsung Electronics Co. The agreement would mean the glass company would receive full ownership over Samsung Corning Precision Materials Co. 

The former joint venture, where Corning bought out Samsung's 43% shareholdings, manufactures glss for liquid crystal displays in South Korea. In a statement issued yesterday, the deal would include Samsung's display business purchasing new convertible shares of Corning valued at USD1.9 billion after an additional USD400 million investment.

WIth the deal, Corning would be able to capitalize on the increasing demand for mobile displays due to the exponential demand for tablets, smarthphones and other handheld consumer electronics devices. The company is banking on its trademarked Gorilla Glass products to further increase its market share. The Samsung deal would also provide Corning access to a USD1.2 billion budget from the joint venture.

According to Corning CEO Wendell Weeks, through a statement, "This affords us greater flexibility in servicing customers, managing capacity and minimizing capital spending as we expand production of Corning Gorilla Glass and pursue new specialty glass applications."

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