Kyocera International, Inc., the North American holding company of Kyocera Corporation (NYSE:KYO), today announced that its new wholly-owned subsidiary, Kyocera Wireless Corp., has acquired substantially all of the assets of QUALCOMM Incorporated's (Nasdaq:QCOM) terrestrial Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) wireless handset business, which recorded fiscal 1999 revenue of approximately $1.4 billion. The assets include the terrestrial wireless phone inventory, customer commitments and manufacturing equipment of QUALCOMM Incorporated (QUALCOMM), which Kyocera Wireless Corp. will integrate with Kyocera's global R&D, purchasing, and technology resources to strengthen Kyocera's position as a leading supplier of wireless communications equipment.
Kyocera Wireless Corp. (KWC), based in San Diego, is now responsible for the design, engineering, manufacturing, sale, marketing and end-user service of existing QUALCOMM(R) and new Kyocera(R) wireless phones and related equipment in North America. KWC's products range from entry-level CDMA wireless phones to next-generation models with advanced PDA functions, Internet access and e-mail capabilities.
"This transaction represents the natural expansion of Kyocera's successful telecommunications equipment business into North America from its solid base in Asia," said Rodney N. Lanthorne, Senior Managing Director of Kyocera Corporation and president of Kyocera International, Inc. "Through this addition, Kyocera is pleased to become North America's leading supplier of CDMA wireless handsets."
Masahiro Inoue, a Director of Kyocera Corporation and General Manager of its Personal Communications Equipment Division, will serve as CEO of KWC, and as KWC's Acting President until the position of President is filled.
"Kyocera now has a strong presence in North America, Japan and South Korea, the three largest markets for CDMA equipment," said Masahiro Inoue. "By integrating these new assets into Kyocera's global infrastructure for developing, producing and delivering CDMA handsets, we are positioned to compete globally and supply CDMA handsets to any carrier in the world."
As part of the transaction between Kyocera and QUALCOMM, KWC will retain the services of certain QUALCOMM Consumer Products employees on a cost-plus basis for up to three years. Selected employees of QUALCOMM Personal Electronics, a manufacturing joint venture between QUALCOMM and Sony Electronics, have accepted employment with KWC. In addition, Kyocera has agreed to purchase a majority of its CDMA chipsets from QUALCOMM for a period of five years. Kyocera is also a QUALCOMM CDMA licensee.
Kyocera Corporation was founded in 1959 as a manufacturer of technical ceramics -- a family of advanced materials with unique physical, chemical and electronic properties. Today, approximately 70% of Kyocera's products are telecommunications-related, including wireless handsets and network equipment; semiconductor components; radio-frequency and microwave device packages; passive electronic components, crystal oscillators and connectors; and electro-optical products for fiber-optic telecommunications networks. Kyocera produced the world's first PHS phone with Internet access and e-mail functions, as well as the world's first handheld, wireless video phone. In addition, DDI Corporation, Japan's second-largest provider of long-distance and wireless telecommunication services, was established by Kyocera's founder and Chairman Emeritus, Dr. Kazuo Inamori, and is approximately 25% owned by Kyocera.
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