Philips TV plans in doubt

Steve Dinneen
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Philips Electronics has all but abandoned hope of selling its TV business by the end of the year, leaving a question mark over how quickly it can divest its loss-making problem child.

Chief executive Frans van Houten said: “The global TV market has deteriorated, and obviously the sooner we complete this the better, but we first need to finalise the negotiations, and whether we can do that this year or into the first quarter of 2012, there are some uncertainties with that planning.”

Philips – the world’s biggest lighting maker, a top three hospital equipment maker and Europe’s biggest consumer electronics producer – said negotiations to sell off most of its TV business to Hong Kong based monitor-maker TPV were intense, constructive and taking longer than expected.

Van Houten said the companies were still talking but if negotiations were to end, it could then take months to close a deal due to regulatory hurdles. Both Philips and TPV said yesterday there was no agreed timeline to close the deal. Van Houten also said it was too early to outline a backup plan.