Kyocera To Consolidate Handset Division - InformationWeek

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2/2/2009
05:02 PM
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Kyocera To Consolidate Handset Division

The company will merge its handset division with recently acquired Sanyo, leading to 360 job losses.

Kyocera said it would reorganize its mobile handset divisions following the $375 million acquisition of Sanyo's handset operations.

The company said the two U.S.-based divisions will be consolidated, and the majority of the coordination of the communication equipment product segment will take place at headquarters in Japan. The move is expected to be finalized by the end of its fiscal year on March 31, and it will lead to the elimination of about 360 jobs in the United States and India.

"By reorganizing and more fully integrating the former assets of Sanyo with those of Kyocera, we will enhance the efficiency and competitiveness of the combined global handset business," Kyocera president Rodney Lanthorne said in a statement. "While the recent market contraction was a factor, Kyocera Wireless Corp.'s profit viability required restructuring. We believe the comprehensive global integration and alignment with the rest of the mobile handset group moves us in the right direction."

Sanyo specialized in making handsets that used Code Division Multiple Access technology, and it generally got good marks from consumers. The company sold its mobile division in January so it could focus on batteries and solar-energy products, and about 2,000 employees went to Kyocera. Analysts say the Kyocera-Sanyo handset entity would have a global CDMA handset market share of about 10%.

"This gives them greater scale," said Neil Mawson, associate director at Strategy Analytics, in a statement. "Kyocera-Sanyo is now the clear No. 4 vendor in this market and they are breathing down the necks of LG, Motorola, and Samsung."

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