Sony Corp. plans to invest about $1.21 billion to double its production of image sensors used in digital cameras and smart phones, as the popularity of those devices continues to rise worldwide.
The investment includes the electronics giant’s planned repurchase of a factory that it sold to Toshiba Corp. in 2007 for 90 billion yen. Until now, the factory has primarily been used to make processors for Sony’s PlayStation 3 game console. But Tokyo-based Sony said it will refurbish the facility so that it can meet growing demand for imaging sensors. The company hopes to double capacity to 50,000 wafers per month by the end of March 2012.
Sony uses its sensors, branded “Exmor” and “Exmor R,” in its own cameras and also sells these parts to other camera and cell phone manufacturers. The sensors are designed to make photos taken in dimly lit conditions appear brighter and crisper. Sales of Sony sensors helped lift sales in its semiconductor division by double-digits in its fiscal second quarter ended Sept. 30.
The company leads the market in imaging sensors. In addition, Sony’s earnings have been buoyed by success in its personal computer and PlayStation divisions, even as sales of its televisions have slowed.
Nokia Siemens Networks says a regulatory hurdle will keep it from completing its acquisition of Motorola Corp.’s network equipment business by the end of the year, as planned.
Instead, the joint venture between Finland’s Nokia Corp. and Germany’s Siemens AG plans to close the deal in the first quarter of 2011.
The company said Tuesday that the Anti-Monopoly Bureau of the Ministry of Commerce of China still has to approve the takeover.
Motorola, based in Schaumburg, Ill., is splitting into two companies effective Tuesday. It is separating its consumer-oriented side, which makes cell phones and cable set-top boxes, from the side that sells police radios and barcode scanners to government and corporate customers. In preparation for the split, Motorola said in July that it would sell its network equipment division for $1.2 billion to Nokia Siemens Networks.
The split of Motorola has been driven by a desire to present two simple stories to investors rather than one complex one. It was announced in 2008, but delayed with phone sales collapsing.
Nintendo Co. is warning parents of children younger than 6 that they should not let them play with the upcoming 3DS, the highly anticipated handheld gaming system that boasts 3-D technology without the need for special glasses.
There is concern that watching 3-D screens could potentially damage kids’ eyes.
In a statement, Nintendo of America spokesman Charlie Scibetta said Friday that parents should use the parental controls on the 3DS to restrict access to the system’s 3D mode. The 3DS goes on sale in February in Japan and in March in the U.S. and Europe.
Nintendo has not announced a price for the system in the U.S. In Japan it will cost 25,000 yen ($304).
Groupon Inc., the fast-growing Internet startup that offers local deals and discounts to members, has raised $500 million of the $950 million it is planning to collect in its latest financing round.
The Chicago company said in a regulatory filing Thursday it plans to use up to $344.5 million of the proceeds to buy back shares from existing shareholders, including founder and CEO Andrew Mason.
Groupon raised the money just a few weeks after Google Inc.’s attempt to buy the 2-year-old company for a reported $5 billion to $6 billion fell through. If it hadn’t, it would have been Google’s largest acquisition.
Previous funding — $135 million — came from Mail.ru Group, also known as Digital Sky Technologies, a Russian Internet investment firm that also holds a stake in Facebook.
Compiled from wire reports