Leyard Optoelectronic Co Ltd Set on the Course for Global Expansion

Chinese high-end indoor LED firm Leyard Optoelectronic and its acquisition of high-end display panel maker Planar Systems, paves the way for the Beijing based company to continue on its course for global expansion.

M & A activity in the LED sector was strongly referenced in the last Futuresource global videowall report which explored the adoption rates of technologies in the tiled display market. It highlighted the current approach to narrow pixel pitch (NPP) LED from major international videowall vendors with most adopting a low risk OEM/ODM strategy, sourcing from Chinese suppliers.

“Many in the industry expected M & A activity from international videowall vendors looking to control their upstream LED supply chain, not the other way round with Chinese vendors looking to build a more international footprint,” commented Chris McIntyre-Brown, Associate Director of Displays & Broadcast Equipment. “The move grants Leyard access to a brand with a long pedigree, high brand recognition and solid reputation in the tiled display category. It provides access to a skilled channel, predominantly in North America but also wider into global markets, along with a route into the niche but lucrative control room vertical.”

In 2014 Leyard Optoelectronic achieved over 40% share of the NPP LED market but it was relatively confined to its domestic market and just LED. The Leyard Chairman Victor Li commented on the acquisition saying “This acquisition demonstrates Leyard’s ongoing commitment to expanding its global presence. The combination of Planar’s strong customer relationships, respected product offerings, and history of innovation across the organization, together with Leyard’s market leading position in emerging videowall technologies create inspiring solutions for customers.”

Gerry Perkel, Planar’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “I believe this transaction represents an outstanding opportunity for our shareholders, employees and customers. The acquisition by Leyard will provide our investors with a 42% premium to market based on our latest closing price and a 51% premium based on a seven day volume-weighted average price of Planar common stock of $4.35, and will position the Planar business for continued growth and innovation.”

Whilst still very much in its infancy, the NPP LED category has generated a huge amount of interest in the past 2 years as a disruptive large surface display technology. Indeed, by 2019 Futuresource Consulting has forecasted that NPP will account for 31% of total videowall value and 15% of volume (m²).

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