Samsung buys German firm that makes OLED technology

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Samsung buys German firm that makes OLED technology

Samsung Group agreed to buy Novaled, a German maker of materials used to light up smartphone and television screens, in the third-largest Korean-German deal in at least a decade.

Samsung affiliate Cheil Industries Inc. signed an agreement to buy about 50 percent of Novaled while Samsung Electronics will acquire 40 percent, the companies said Saturday in a statement. Samsung Venture Investment already owns 10 percent. The transaction values the Dresden-based firm at €260 million ($347 million) including a €30 million contingency payment based on certain milestones.

Samsung is pushing to gain control of organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, technology as users shift to thinner screens in smartphones and televisions. The technology offers sharper, brighter images while consuming less power. Novaled makes organic materials and technology for OLEDs, used for televisions and mobile phones, as well as by the lighting and solar-power industries, according to its Web site.

“This is a strong signal for the future success of venture-capital investments in Germany,” Paul-Josef Patt, chief executive officer at Novaled investor ECapital Entrepreneurial Partners, said in a telephone interview Saturday. “We are seeing growing interest from foreign investors in German startups.”

In addition to the sales process, Novaled had also considered an initial public offering on the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York. Novaled’s main investors include ECapital, Omnes Capital, Second TechnoStart Ventures Fonds GmbH & Co. KG, TechFund Europe Management and Samsung Venture Investment, according to its Web site.

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