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W. David Gardner
June 1, 2009
2 Min Read
E Ink, the company that provides the electronic paper displays used in Amazon.com's Kindle and Sony's Reader, reported that it has reached an agreement to be acquired by Taiwan's Prime View International, or PVI, for $215 million.
E Ink said its headquarters will remain in Cambridge, Mass. It also reported that its sales reached $18 million in the first quarter of 2009 -- up 157% over the same quarter a year earlier.
Founded in 1997, E Ink has received more than $150 million in venture financing.
E Ink and PVI have partnered since 2006 to provide electronic displays for electronic books, and the two companies already support nearly 20 global e-book manufacturers.
"Combining E Ink and PVI creates a single public company that is dedicated to electronic paper," Russ Wilcox, co-founder, president, and CEO of E Ink, said in a statement. "With a common ownership structure, we can get closer to customers around the world, streamline the supply chain, and speed up new product development."
Utilized also in cell phones, smartcards, memory devices, and battery indicators, E Ink has built an intellectual-property portfolio consisting of hundreds of patent applications. E Ink and PVI noted that IEEE Spectrum magazine has ranked E Ink's patent portfolio as No. 3 worldwide for computer peripherals and storage.
PVI has been growing its presence in electronic paper displays since 2005 when it acquired the e-paper business of Philips Electronics. Later PVI began investing heavily in dedicated driver chips and tough screens for e-paper. The company said it expects to begin marketing flexible displays later this year.
"The world is searching for green technology that saves energy and cuts waste and still provides an outstanding experience," said Scott Liu, chairman and CEO of PVI. "E Ink's electronic paper meets those needs, especially in electronic publishing and mobile displays."
In addition to PVI, E Ink's investors and strategic partners have included Eastward Capital, FA Technology Ventures, and Solstice Capital, as well as U.S. corporate investors Intel and Motorola.
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