JOLED (Japan OLED) was established in August 2014 by Japan Display (15%), Sony (5%) and Panasonic (5%) with an aim to become an OLED medium display producer using printing technologies. The Innovation Network Corp of Japan (INCJ), which funded JOLED, had a 75% stake.
In early 2016 it was reported that Japan Display (JDI) aims to acquire JOLED, and this deal is finally taking place - JDI will pay around $100 million USD to INCJ and will raise its stake to over 50% (which values JOLED at around $300 million). Reuters say that the financing transactions, though, will only end towards the end of 2017.
This deal is mostly about making a simpler structure of JDI's business. INCJ, who is also the major shareholder in JDI, will give around $650 million to JDI (in subordinated and convertible bonds) to grow its OLED and LCD business.
According to reports, JDI was originally interested in Sharp's LCD division, but Sharp finally decided to sell out to Foxconn.
Last month it was reported that JOLED aims to start producing prototype OLED panels in the second half of 2017. JOLED developed a 21.6" UHD panel and actually aims to start offering the panel in 2017 to medical monitor makers and other commercial applications. JOLED expects to achieve mass production in FY2018 (April 2018 to March 2019).
JOLED is using a printing based process and it is estimated that production costs will be 30% to 40% lower than evaporation based processes - but the performance of soluble OLED materials are not yet up to par with evaporation materials.
In April 2016 we reported that JOLED developed OLED panels, a 12.2" FHD (180 PPI) panel and a 19.3" 4K one (230 PPI). JOLED is preparing a Gen-4.5 fab, and investments in its R&D and pilot production facility are expected to reach $160 million. In 2015, it was reported that JOLED is in talks with Apple for a possible supply agreement for Apple's future iPad devices.