Corning to buy Samsung’s fiber optics business

December 2, 2014, 12:02 PM UTC
Elia Rinaldi

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (SSNLF) agreed to sell its fiber optics operations to U.S. specialty glass maker Corning Inc. (GLW), exiting another non-core business to focus on shoring up underperforming key areas like smartphones.

Terms of the sale, including plants in China and South Korea, weren’t disclosed. Announced by both parties on Tuesday, the South Korean firm’s second exit from a business line this quarter comes as it braces for its lowest annual profit in three years, squeezed by stiff competition.

The world’s top maker of smartphones has been caught between Chinese rivals like Xiaomi Technology Co Ltd at the low end and Apple Inc’s (AAPL) iPhones at the top. Samsung Electronics’ share of the global smartphone industry has shrunk year-on-year for the last three quarters.

“We have decided to sell our fibre optics business, in order
to focus on our core business areas,” a Samsung Electronics
spokeswoman said. The company declined to comment on how much revenue the division generates.

The firm also said in October it will halt its light emitting diode lighting business outside of its home country,
which was also considered a non-core business.

Corning, which supplies glass for Samsung and Apple Inc
smartphones, said the deal will strengthen its fibre optics business in the Asian market.