LG.Philips LCD, Matsushita Say No Deal In The Works

Companies deny reports LG.Philips was selling a stake in Matsushita.

Seoul, South Korea (AP) - South Korea's LG.Philips LCD said Wednesday it has not been in talks to sell a stake to Japan's Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.

''There's nothing under way with regard to Matsushita's stake purchase of LG.Philips LCD,'' the South Korean flat-panel maker said in a regulatory filing.

LG.Philips, the world's second-largest maker of liquid crystal displays used in flat televisions and personal computers, had been asked by the Korea Exchange to clarify a media report that Matsushita officials had visited its factories to study a possible stake purchase.

Matsushita also denied the Korea Economic Daily report, saying it has no intention of buying a stake in LG.Philips LCD or pursuing a joint venture with it.

Shares of LG.Philips LCD, which rose as much as 2.7 percent after the newspaper report, fell 3 percent to close at 30,300 won (US$32; euro25) Wednesday.

LG Philips is partly owned by Royal Philips Electronics NV of the Netherlands, which has a 32.9 percent stake. South Korea's LG Electronics Inc. is the biggest shareholder.

Philips has said it intends to exit the venture, but has agreed to maintain its holdings until July 2007.

Philips ''over time wants to reduce its stake in LG.Philips LCD in a responsible manner,'' Arent Jan Hesselink, a spokesman for the Dutch company, said Wednesday.

Matsushita Electric uses plasma technology for its large-screen TVs, but plasma products have recently been losing market share to those based on LCD technology in the large-screen TV market.

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