Press Release

Solomon and Motorola Entered Agreement for Sale of Flat Panel Display Operation

The Transaction Promises To Catapult Local Development of LCD IC Technology in Hot Demand in Asia

(June 17, 1999 — Taipei) Consistent with Motorola’s business strategies of focusing on developing systems-on-a-chip core technologies and Taiwan Solomon Group’s promising business synergy, the two parties have made an agreement on the transaction of Flat Panel Display Operation of Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector (SPS). Solomon Group will form a new company to focus on future LCD Driver IC development while Motorola SPS will continue to support the existing Display IC business. The planned transaction will not affect Motorola’s other flat panel display business under IESS, which will continue to research and develop the next-generation of flat panel display, based on Field Emission Display technology.

SPS’ Flat Panel Display Operation comprises a team of professionals focused on LCD IC technology, from product development and process design to package application. The transaction will give Solomon’s LCD portfolio an instant boost in the form of 10 years of LCD IC technical expertise and R&D resources. This transfer of technology to Asia-based Solomon will catapult local development of LCD IC technology, currently a rapidly expanding market in the region. Under the agreement, current customers of the Division will also be ensured of continuous support on future LCD IC development and production requirements. 

Since its establishment in 1990, the Flat Panel Display Operation has filed numerous patents, developed the proprietary high voltage LCD IC process, and won a host of awards – the latest being the 1997 Component Design Award by EDN Asia for its LCD Driver IC. It is the sole organization in Motorola that has global responsibilities in developing high technology display drivers IC and module. The team has also been instrumental in setting up LCD IC manufacturing line to support customer’s China local content.

Despite the slow down in 1998 led by the Asian economic crisis, the LCD market has grown over 24 percent last year. LCDs account for more than 80% of all flat panel display (FPD) sales. Predictions from Standford Resources say the FPD market will rise to 2.7 billion units and $25 billion in 2004. The Flat Panel Display Operation specializes in portable telecommunications and consumer applications such as LCD monitor, cellular phones, pagers and handheld products. With the booming portable telecommunications and consumer market, growth even more pronounced in Asia Pacific, this newly established company by Solomon Group has a promising future ahead in Asia Pacific which is home to most, if not all, major LCD customers. 

“The Flat Panel Display Operation is thriving and developing at full speed with our substantial R&D efforts.” said Joe Yiu, Vice President and General Manager, Asia Pacific Region of Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector. “Solomon is a long-term partner with Motorola. We are confident that the new company will prosper under the dominant presence and support of Solomon Group in the region.” 

Solomon Group places high expectation in this transaction. “1999 is a remarkable year for Solomon Group. First of all, the acquisition of a 70% stake of Hong Kong’s Qing Cheng Group earlier has gained us a foothold in channel distribution in Greater China. This transaction with Motorola then further demonstrates our commitment to venture in the hi-tech industry. In the future, we will continue to be bullish on R&D investments, further enriching our resources and expertise on products, distribution, and technology. By achieving operational excellence, we will deliver maximum value for both our shareholders and employees,” said Jackson Chen, Chairman of Solomon Group.

Tim Lin, Solomon Group’s CEO expressed,” This planned transaction will allow Solomon a swift entry in the fast-growing TFT-LCD and STN-LCD IC markets. Motorola’s Flat Panel Operation will provide us with a team of world-class engineers, rich IP portfolio and a host of valuable customers. Combined with Solomon Group’s existing semiconductors expertise, we envisage tremendous synergy with our other business units and new market opportunities.”

Lin added,” The Operation will be grouped under our wholly owned subsidiary in Hong Kong, Solomon Systech Limited. Coinciding with the government’s goal to develop hi-tech and enhance R&D capabilities, we are confident that the team will provide great technological leaps for Taiwan, Hong Kong as well as the whole of Asia.” 

About Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector

As the world’s #1 producer of embedded processors, Motorola’s Semiconductor Products Sector offers multiple DigitalDNA(tm) solutions which enable its customers to create new business opportunities in the consumer, networking and computing, transportation, and wireless communications markets. Motorola’s worldwide semiconductor sales were $7.3 billion (USD) in l998.

Motorola is a global leader in providing integrated communications solutions and embedded electronic solutions. Sales in 1998 were $29.4 (USD) billion.

About Solomon Group

Established in 1973, today Solomon Group has grown into a significant conglomerate with diversified businesses and multiple subsidiaries, covering semiconductors, wireless communications, smart card, peripherals, LCM, battery packs, sensor, and power businesses, respectively.

Solomon Group is continuously striving for expanding its core businesses and global strategy. In April of 1999, Solomon merged Qing Cheng Group in Hong Kong and accomplished one of its important milestones in pursuing oversea markets.

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