TCL International Holdings Ltd. announced that it has signed a framework agreement for its joint venture with France's Thomson S.A. (TMS).
The agreement, signed during Chinese President Hu Jintao's official visit to France, follows the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two companies in November last year. The two partners intend to complete the signing of other definitive documents by the end of March.
Hong Kong-listed TCL and Thomson said last year they would both contribute their television manufacturing assets to the new company -- TCL-Thomson Electronics -- in which TCL will take a 67-percent stake and Thomson will own 33 percent.
The new entity, with combined total assets worth 450 million euros (approx. U.S. $), is projected to make 18 million TV sets a year and 3 million to 4 million digital video disc players. Annual revenue is expected to reach 3 billion euros (approx. $).
Thomson, one the world's largest consumer electronics companies, will have the right to swap its stake in TCL-Thomson Electronics into shares in TCL International within 18 months after the formation of the new company.
TCL International and Thomson also confirmed their earlier target to make the new entity fully operational by July 1.
With the projected annual production of 18 million units, TCL, China's top maker of TVs, may become one of the world's top five manufacturers of TVs, along side leaders like Sony Corp. and Royal Philips Electronics N.V. (Dow Jones)
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