Samsung to purchase OLED firm Novaled for $347 million

Samsung Corporate HQ (image 001)

Despite the fact that Apple seems to be doing everything in its power to reduce its supply chain dependence on Samsung, the two appear to be inseparable. The Korean tech giant still makes a number of iOS device components, including processors and displays.

With that in mind, you can understand why we were interested to hear this afternoon that Samsung is in the process of purchasing Novaled, a German-based OLED (organic light-emitting diode) company, for a staggering 260 million euros, or $347 million USD…

The Wall Street Journal reports:

“Samsung will buy Novaled through affiliate Cheil Industries Inc.,001300.SE -0.47% which makes electronic materials for OLED displays, and its electronics arm, Samsung Electronics Co. 005930.SE +1.07%

“Through the acquisition of Novaled, Cheil Industries strengthens its leading position in the field of electronic materials, and we are able to achieve significant synergies in research and development of OLED material of the next generation,” said Jong-Woo Park, chief executive of Cheil Industries. Cheil will acquire 50% in Novaled, while Samsung will buy 40%. Samsung’s venture capital arm already holds the other 10% in the Dresden-based company.”

The move serves as further evidence of Samsung’s commitment to OLED technology, which is more energy efficient and usually produces more vivid images than competing tech. It’s believed that the OLED panel business will more than double in the next 4 years.

“The latest deal will help the group secure a better foothold in the market for next-generation displays employing organic light-emitting diodes. OLED displays are now used widely in smartphones but are also increasingly being adopted in televisions for their energy efficiency and ability to reproduce vivid colors. Revenue in the OLED display market is poised to grow to $20 billion by 2017 from just $8 billion in 2012, according to market research firm DisplaySearch.”

Samsung has long supplied Apple with panels for its iPhone and iPads. Most recently, a report from DisplaySearch said Apple ordered over 4 million 9.7-inch displays from Samsung last quarter, and the two are set to partner up again on the upcoming iPad mini refresh.

Novaled was founded in 2001 by German research firm Fraunhofer Institute and the Technical University of Dresden. The company makes OLEDs for displays and lighting, mainly for Samsung, and has around 130 employees.