Teco to Invest $20M in Syntax-Brillian

Teco Electric & Machinery will invest US$20 million in Syntax-Brillian. Teco is an appliance manufacturer based in Taiwan and Syntax-Brillian is a US-based TV manufacturer. With the $20 million, Teco will own 3.5% equity share in Syntax-Brillian. Another stakeholder is Kolin, also Taiwan-based, that holds 7% of Syntax-Brillian. Kolin is the integrator that makes the Olevia-branded LCD TVs for Syntax-Brillian. Syntax-Brillian also has LCoS-based TVs. By pooling resources from three companies, Syntax-Brillian hopes to gain success in the likes of Vizio, a competitor that is also an US-based TV manufacturer.

Vizio is based in Irvine, California and captured 12% unit share of flat panel TVs in Q2’07 making it the top brand in the US according to market research company DisplaySearch. Vizio has been selling TVs only since 2003 mainly through Costco, Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, Circuit City and Sears. Vizio is not found at Best Buy but its TVs are seeked out due to very low prices. For instance, Vizio offers two 32″ LCD TVs with one that costs $600 and the other for $650. As mentioned before, Vizio’s overhead is low with just 85 employees, mostly in technical support or engineering. Syntax-Brillian will need to be just as lean and competitive to survive.

Some statistics for Syntax-Brillian:

Shipments: 600,000 in 1H’07, 1.2 million goal for 2007
Future products: Digital photo frames

Opinion
Gaining valuable funding by liquidating some of your equity is a time-honored method of continuing and expanding your business. James Li is the CEO of Syntax-Brillian and he is, I’m sure, a very smart person. A competitor, Vizio, has stollen the top spot from Samsung in the US TV market in Q2’07. Like Vizio, Syntax-Brillian is a lean company that moves quickly and focuses on providing high quality products at very competitive prices. Teco also manufactures LCD TVs and sells them under the Teco brand in Taiwan and the three companies can share experiences and know-how to succeed in the TV business.

Source: DigiTimes via Witsview, USA Today

[tags]Teco Electric, Syntax-Brillian, Vizio, LCD TV, CostCo, Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, Circuit City, Kolin[/tags]

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