February 20, 2008
Asahi Kasei Corporation

Strategic alliance in optical materials with Luminit, LLC
Asahi Kasei and Luminit of the US have concluded a strategic alliance agreement related to Luminit's advanced technology for Light Shaping Diffuser* films for controlled light diffusion. The wide-ranging alliance includes a technology transfer to Asahi Kasei, joint development to further advance the technology, and acquisition by Asahi Kasei of a minority stake in Luminit.

The Asahi Kasei Group is a leading supplier of a number of essential components and materials for the production of LCDs and other flat panel displays, including light guide plates, light diffusion plates, photomask pellicles, and dry film photoresist. One element of the Asahi Kasei Group's Growth Action – 2010 strategic mid-term initiative is the development of new businesses in electronic and optical materials as a high-growth, high value-added field of operation.

Having pioneered research and development of light diffusers that "shape light as needed," Luminit is pursuing the further expansion of operations based on its unique products and technologies, including controlled light diffusion and holographic technology for the production of seamless master rolls. The alliance announced today thus enables both companies to accomplish key strategic objectives for the growth of business based on advanced optical materials technology.

In addition to marketing Light Shaping Diffusers* for flat panel displays worldwide, Asahi Kasei will establish a product development and supply infrastructure to swiftly commercialize optical sheets for LCD backlight units based on a combination of Luminit's technology with its own optical materials technology. Even as the market for LCDs is forecast to maintain its robust growth in notebook PCs, desktop PC monitors, and successively larger LCD TVs, demand for thinner panels and greater energy efficiency is rising. New product development by Asahi Kasei will focus on innovative optical sheets which meet these emerging performance requirements, with market launch during fiscal 2008.
Summary of the strategic alliance agreement
Transfer of all Light Shaping Diffuser* technology related to design, development, and production from Luminit to Asahi Kasei, with further development of products and technologies to be performed jointly by the two companies.
Acquisition by Asahi Kasei of exclusive worldwide rights to production and sale for flat panel display applications.
Collaboration by the two companies for development and advancement of business in other applications, including general lighting, signs, automotive, and machine vision.
Acquisition by Asahi Kasei of a minority interest in Luminit.
Corporate profile of Luminit, LLC
President and CEO: Engin Arik, Ph.D.
Incorporation: November 2005; previously a division of Physical Optics Corp.
Location: Torrance, CA, USA
Business line: Design, development, production, and sale of Light Shaping Diffusers*
Employees: 42
* Registered trademark of Luminit, LLC.


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