Philips sells HDTV business to Hong Kong-based TPV Technology, will sate itself with royalty payments

Philips has been making teevees for over 80 years, but today its new CEO has announced that this storied history is coming to an end. Unable to generate a profit from its HDTV division -- it lost the company €87 million in the first quarter -- Philips will soon sell the majority stake in it to Hong Kong manufacturer TPV Technology, while retaining a 30 percent ownership share and agreeing guaranteed royalty payments of €50 million per year from 2013 onwards. It's not a bad deal for the Dutch consumer electronics maker, whose bottom line for the first quarter was €137 million in the black, but would have been double that had the new arrangement been in place. All 4,000 Philips employees working under the HDTV umbrella will be transferred over to TPV, though the company says it doesn't want the "market to misread that [it] intend to lay-off a lot of employees." Which is not to say that it won't. A video interview with Philips' chief Frans van Houten discussing the change of direction can be found after the break.