HSINCHU, Taiwan, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-Asia-FirstCall/ -- AU Optronics Corp. ("AUO" or the "Company") (TAIEX: 2409; NYSE: AUO) today announced its decision, approved by its Board of Directors on January 29th, to subscribe new shares to be issued by M.Setek for seizing the highly-growing Solar market opportunities and accelerating establishment of key material capacity. AUO will invest 15 billion yen to strengthen its strategic position in solar value chain.
Being a major supplier to renowned solar cell companies around the world, M.Setek's leading technology realizes high conversion rate of monocrystal silicon wafers for solar cells. M.Setek is one of the few global suppliers which could provide high quality and high-efficient solar wafer. For strengthening its strategic position in Solar value chain, AUO decided to subscribe new shares to be issued by M.Setek for further expanding the capacity and enhancing financial healthiness. Meanwhile, AUO will provide the experiences of flexible reactions to the fast changing industry and its management resources. The investment will help M.Setek to perform better in operation, sales, and finance, and will be able to develop Japan and overseas market. After the cash investment to its operation, M.Setek's construction of the second fab in Soma will be completed. The capacity of monocrystal silicon will be significantly increased from 3,000 tons to 7,000 tons. This will be the best support for AUO to expand its solar business aggressively.
AUO has actively invested in solar business and planned for both solar upstream and downstream value chains. AUO has shipped its solar modules to Europe since June 2009. The first solar park project in Hungen city, Germany was also on-grid by end of 2009. The 3MWp solar-power plant using AUO's PV modules can supply electricity for 800 households. In addition to establishing a Reliability Lab for PV module's quality assurance, AUO is building a module production line in Taichung and the line will be ramped up in Q1 2010. AUO is also recruiting a large number of R&D talents for the energy business and plans to build up the first solar business operation base in China. With the strategy of providing the total solution, AUO will cooperate with the partners in the industrial value chain to develop the solar market globally.
ABOUT AU OPTRONICS
AU Optronics Corp. (AUO) is a worldwide top three manufacturer* of thin film transistor liquid crystal display panels (TFT-LCD). AUO is able to provide customers with a full range of panel sizes and comprehensive applications, offering TFT-LCD panels in sizes ranging from 1.2 inches to greater than 65 inches. AUO generated NT$359.6 billion (US$11.2 billion) in sales revenue in 2009 and now houses a staff of more than 42,000 employees throughout its global operations in Taiwan, Mainland China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, the U.S., and Europe. Additionally, AUO is the first pure TFT-LCD manufacturer to successfully list at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). AUO extended its market to green energy industry in the end of 2008, and formally founded The Solar Photovoltaic Business Unit in October, 2009. For more information, please visit AUO.com.
* DisplaySearch 3Q2009 WW Large-Area TFT-LCD Shipment Report. This data is used as reference only and AUO does not make any endorsement or representation in connection therewith. 2009 year end revenue converted by an exchange rate of NTD31.95:USD1.
Safe Harbour Notice
AU Optronics Corp. ("AUO" or the "Company") (TAIEX: 2409; NYSE: AUO), a worldwide top three manufacturer of large-size TFT-LCD panels, today announced the above news. Except for statements in respect of historical matters, the statements contained in this Release are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements were based on our management's expectations, projections and beliefs at the time regarding matters including, among other things, future revenues and costs, financial performance, technology changes, capacity, utilization rates, yields, process and geographical diversification, future expansion plans and business strategy. Such forward looking statements are subject to a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that can cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements, including risks related to the flat panel display industry, the TFT-LCD market, acceptance and demand for our products, technological and development risks, competitive factors, and other risks described in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in our Form 20-F filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on June 4th, 2008.
SOURCE AU Optronics Corp.