AUO Announces Completion of BHTC Acquisition, Strengthening its Supplier Leadership in Smart Mobility Services

HSINCHU, April 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — AUO Corporation (“AUO” or the “Company”) (TWSE: 2409) announced today the completion of its acquisition of German company Behr-Hella Thermocontrol GmbH (hereinafter referred to as “BHTC”), at an enterprise value of €600 million (approximately NT$20.4 billion), following the agreement reached previously on October 2, 2023. After fulfilling all necessary closing conditions and obtaining approval from relevant national authorities, AUO now holds 100% equity interest in BHTC.

In response to the prevalence of smart and autonomous vehicles and the rapidly evolving automotive industry, AUO is transitioning from a display supplier to a comprehensive solutions provider in smart mobility. This transformation includes actively building global industry clusters and satisfying the local demands of automakers. The integration of the two companies solidifies AUO’s expansion into the smart mobility ecosystem, optimizes resource allocation of both entities, and achieves definitive synergistic effects across three strategic dimensions: product, customer, and operation deployment.

  • Product Diversification
    By leveraging BHTC’s automotive human-machine interfaces and climate control systems product lines, in combination with AUO’s industry-leading automotive Display HMI solutions and advanced Micro LED technology, the Company aims to redefine the design concepts of smart cockpits, expand human-machine interaction services and dedicate efforts by creating a broader, more eco-friendly, and high-value technology product mix, thereby offering a more comprehensive product portfolio.

  •  Customer-Centric Supply Chain Resilience
    By becoming a Tier 1 automotive supplier, AUO solidifies its strong relationships with international OEMs, increasing direct interaction with automakers and expanding its customer base, strategically enabling the Company in gaining early market insights. By leveraging its consistent product customization, high efficiency, and quality management capabilities, AUO maximizes the effectiveness of vertical integration in the supply chain. This strategy facilitates rapid market entry and proximity to localized customer and supply chain services, improving customer penetration and strengthening the overall resilience of the industry’s supply chain.

  • Global Operation Deployment
    BHTC has subsidiaries located in Germany, the United States, China, India, Japan, Bulgaria, Mexico, and Finland, as well as advanced research and development and engineering services in Europe and India.  This, combined with AUO’s deep engagement in the Asian and North American markets, maximizes the advantages of localized production. This deployment will also facilitate collaborative development with automakers, streamline the automotive homologation compliance process, paving the way for AUO to be a leading solutions provider for smart mobility services.

This acquisition is poised to diversify AUO’s product range and create a more balanced geographical portfolio, which is expected to increase the Company’s automotive revenue share and fuel growth in its vertical domains. It serves as a catalyst in accelerating the Company’s mission of “AUO is not just a panel maker but instead a solutions provider that extends technological innovation across a diverse range of vertical applications”.

“AUO has built solid foundations in innovative display technology, particularly in the automotive display sector, where we have been active for many years,” said Dr. Frank Ko, CEO and President of AUO. “BHTC possesses world-class capabilities in research and manufacturing. By closely integrating both companies, we are leveraging synergistic benefits and vertical integration to continue our long-term strategies. Our joint efforts will expedite the connection of automotive industry supply and value chains worldwide, allowing us to seize market opportunities with strategic foresight and enhance our position in the smart mobility ecosystem.”

The success of international mergers and acquisitions heavily relies on collaboration across the Company’s global teams. AUO has consistently focused on its biaxial transformation strategy and the strategic deployment of its global locations, accumulating substantial experience and talent in international operations. The Company holds a firm belief that respect and complementarity are crucial to the sustainable operation of a multinational corporation. “We are delighted to welcome BHTC to the One AUO team. Moving forward, we will establish effective communication channels with BHTC, adopting a mindset that combines German precision and openness to diversity,” said Paul Peng, Chairman of AUO. “Our objective is to facilitate progressive cultural integration, leveraging AUO’s extensive experience and systems in cross-border management to enhance interdisciplinary collaboration and exchange. We aim to unite our teams, embrace global diversity, enhance industrial competitiveness, and achieve sustainable growth, efficiency, and success.”

AUO will continue to invest in its biaxial transformation, advancing its high-value-added display technologies and extending the construction of its ecosystem value chain. The Company is committed to providing its global partners with exceptional and diverse innovative solutions, aiming to create long-term, sustainable value for stakeholders such as customers, suppliers, employees, and shareholders, amidst a rapidly changing global environment.

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ABOUT AUO

AUO was founded in 1996 and is an innovative, technology-oriented company that offers products and solutions with display-centric technology that push the boundaries for smart mobility, industrial intelligence, energy, retail, healthcare, as well as enterprise and education. The company is headquartered in Taiwan, and operates in Asia, the US, and Europe with a global team of 38,000 employees. Notably, AUO demonstrates continuous efforts in ESG development, leading excellence and achievements in sustainability, and has been represented in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for 13 years. AUO’s consolidated net revenue in 2023 was USD 8.07 billion. Further information about AUO can be found at: www.auo.com/en-global

Safe Harbour Notice 

AUO Corporation (“AUO” or the “Company”) (TWSE: 2409), a global leader of TFT-LCD panels, today announced the above news. Except for statements in respect of historical matters, the statements contained in this Release include “forward-looking statements.” These forward-looking statements are based on our management’s expectations, projections and beliefs at the time regarding matters including, among other things, future revenues and costs, financial performance, technology changes, capacity, utilization rates, yields, process and geographical diversification, future expansion plans and business strategy. Such forward looking statements are subject to a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that can cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements, including risks related to the flat panel display industry, the TFT-LCD market, acceptance of and demand for our products, technological and development risks, competitive factors, and other risks. In addition, our Annual Report contains other information on these and other factors that could affect our financial results and cause actual results to differ materially from any forward-looking information we may provide. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events, new information or future circumstances.

For more information, please contact:

AUO Corporate Communication Division

Jessie Lee /Director   Tel:+886-3-5008800 ext 503206 Email:jessie.jc.lee@auo.com

Joye Hsueh              Tel:+886-3-5008800 ext 502782 Email:joye.hsueh@auo.com

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