AU Optronics Corp. ("AUO" or the "Company") (TAIEX: 2409; NYSE: AUO) today announced the purchase of 124,950 thousand shares of BenQ Corp. ("BenQ") via open market purchases through the Taiwan Stock Exchange ("TAIEX"). BenQ is ranked among the "Top 100 IT" companies in the world by Business Week magazine and sells under its own brand name and also manufactures under original equipment manufacturing ("OEM") contracts consumer electronics, communications and information technology ("IT") products such as digital camera, mobile phone, LCD monitor, LCD TV, which have wide applications for TFT-LCD manufactured by companies such as AUO. BenQ currently owns approximately 13.3% of AUO's outstanding shares as of September 30, 2004.
The total investment of NT$4,048 million, valued at BenQ shares' closing price of NT$32.4 on November 8, 2004, represents 5.4% of BenQ's total outstanding shares and will be carried as a long term investment on AUO's balance sheet.
AUO's Board of Directors has approved the purchase of BenQ shares in order to establish a long term strategic relationship with BenQ. AUO is positive on BenQ's business outlook and believes this investment will further enhance AUO's capability in capturing emerging trends of TFT-LCD applications in the consumer markets.
Formerly Acer Communications & Multimedia, the name BenQ was adopted in December 2001 to reflect BenQ's motto "Bringing Enjoyment and Quality to Life." BenQ's product lines are managed by four business groups: Imaging Network (scanners, optical drives, digital cameras, color laser printers), Digital Media (Digital Hub, projectors, LCD TV’s, MP3 players/USB flash drives, plasma displays, multi-functional DVD), Network Display (LCD monitors, CRT monitors, smart displays) and Networking & Communications
(GSM/GPRS/CDMA/CDMA2000 mobile phones, wireless LAN, home networking, SOHO
routers, smart phones, wireless PDAs, wireless modules). BenQ currently is the world’s second-largest manufacturer of LCD displays and is ranked among the "Top 100 IT" companies in the world by Business Week magazine.