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Sony agrees to end LCD venture with Samsung: source

TOKYO/SEOUL (Reuters) - Sony Corp has agreed to end its LCD joint venture with Samsung Electronics and will sell its stake to the South Korean company, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The decision comes after Sony in November warned of a fourth straight year of losses, with its television unit alone set to lose $2.2 billion on tumbling demand and a surging yen.

The Japanese TV maker at that time said it would revamp LCD panel procurement, but declined to comment on reports that it would end the panel joint venture with Samsung.

A Samsung spokesman said on Monday the two companies would make an announcement regarding the joint venture at O630 GMT, without elaborating.

Sony holds a nearly 50 percent stake in liquid-crystal display (LCD) joint venture S-LCD, which was established in April 2004 to secure stable supplies of the component.

Shares in Sony were up 1.75 percent and Samsung Electronics shares traded flat as of 0535 GMT.

Global TV manufacturers are restructuring their businesses and outsourcing production as cutthroat competition and weak demand squeeze margins.

Samsung is the world's No. 1 TV maker, while Sony vies for the No.2 title with South Korea's LG Electronics Inc.

(Reporting by Reporting by Junko Fujita in TOKYO and Hyunjoo Jin in SEOUL; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)

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