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Samsung spinning off its LCD business to focus on OLED

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Samsung announced in a filing that it is spinning off its LCD division. The new subsidiary, tentatively named Samsung Display, will open its doors on April 1.

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Samsung TV logo
Samsung TV logo

We knew that Samsung was thinking about spinning off its unprofitable LCD business, and while its disclosure on February 14th stated the company would make a final decision within three months, a new filing shows Samsung is going ahead with its plan. Bloomberg reports the new subsidiary is tentatively named Samsung Display Co., and could be merged with Samsung Mobile Display Co. and the company's recently-acquired 100 percent stake in S-LCD, allowing the company to shift some of its considerable resources from LCD to OLED production. Samsung Mobile Display was set up as a partnership between Samsung and Samsung SDI in 2009, and is the company behind Samsung's OLED displays for smartphones and other mobile devices.

The move follows the 750 billion won operating loss (about $668 million) realized by Samsung's LCD business in 2011. Everyone's having a hard time making money selling LCD TVs, but having seen the 55-inch OLED set in person, we would expect that red ink to start drying up if Samsung Display is able to get big screen OLEDs in the market at a reasonable price point.