Brussels — Umicore has announced that it has sold its indium tin oxide (ITO) sputtering target activity for large area coatings to its joint venture partner First Rare Materials Co., Ltd., the parent company of the Vital Group, a leading Chinese producer of minor metals based products.
As part of the transaction, First Rare Materials acquires full ownership of Umicore Vital Thin Film Technologies Co., Ltd., the Chinese joint venture which was previously 60 percent owned by Umicore and 40 percent by First Rare Materials.
The ITO activity produces sputtering targets for vacuum deposition of thin films and was housed in Umicore’s Thin Film Products business unit. The Optics and Electronics activity, also part of Thin Film Products, is not part of this transaction and will be transferred to the business unit Electro-Optic Materials with effect on January 1, 2018.
As the large area display market has been moving massively to Asia, all manufacturing of ITO materials will take place in the production plant in Qingyuan, China. Umicore’s ITO manufacturing operations in Providence, USA will be ceased by the end of 2017.
Costs related to the transaction and the closure of the Providence site will be booked under non-recurring items in the second half of 2017 and are anticipated to amount to € 14 million.
In line with its strategy, Umicore continues to review its portfolio of activities in order to focus primarily on the development of its activities in its growth platforms of clean mobility and recycling.