Philips Electronics NV has sold a 90 percent stake in its High Tech Plastics optics business in Suzhou, China, to Hong Kong-based private equity firm Triumph Pan-Pacific Capital Ltd.
The noncore Suzhou business, which includes a high-precision injection molding plant, employs around 300 and is one of the world's biggest camera lens manufacturers. The unit makes miniature camera lenses for mobile phones, CD and DVD readers, and lenses used in scanners, among other products, HTP said.
HTP optics was one of a number of remaining Philips noncore businesses held in ``a corporate holding pen'' prior to being sold, a Philips spokesman said. The disposal is the last in a series of HTP subsidiary sales in the past three years, he added.
In early 2005, Philips sold HTP's automotive business, which produced rubber and injection molded plastic components and assemblies, to Helvoet Group of Hellevoetsluis, Netherlands. About a year later, Dutch firm Varova BV bought HTP's plastics tooling operations.
Philips' latest divestiture is another step in its bid to focus on its main healthcare, lighting and consumer lifestyle divisions. The firm employs nearly 124,000 in more than 60 countries and reported 2007 sales of 27 billion euros ($37 billion).
Eindhoven-based Philips expects to record a 12 million euro (US$17.7 million) loss in its first-quarter 2008 results, to be released April 14.