Universal Display Corporation Acquires BASF’s OLED IP Assets

Universal Display Corporation, enabling energy-efficient displays and lighting with its UniversalPHOLED® technology and materials, announced today that through its wholly-owned subsidiary UDC Ireland Limited, it has acquired the OLED Intellectual Property (IP) assets of BASF SE, the world's leading chemical company. Representing 15 years of research and development, the assets include over 500 issued and pending patents around the world, in 86 patent families. Largely consisting of phosphorescent materials and technologies, BASF’s OLED portfolio has an average lifetime of 10 years. The purchase price for the acquisition is approximately EUR 87 million (US $96.26 million).

 “We are pleased to enhance our extensive key patents in phosphorescent materials with BASF’s complementary OLED IP portfolio,” said Steven V. Abramson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Display. “One of our key objectives is to develop and deliver an all-phosphorescent emissive stack. We believe that this acquisition will help further these research efforts, principally in the development of commercial blue emissive systems. As a leading player in the OLED ecosystem with 20+ years of know-how and experience in emissive materials and technologies, we believe that we are best positioned to incorporate and leverage BASF’s IP assets into our existing broad and robust portfolio of 3,600+ issued and pending patents worldwide. We expect this acquisition to strengthen our commercial development pipeline of new and next-generation OLED systems and bring additional value to our customers and shareholders.”

Universal Display and BASF logos. (Photo courtesy of Universal Display)

BASF ceased its OLED research activities at the end of 2015 after a careful strategic examination. With the sale of the OLED IP assets, the withdrawal is finalized. “We are pleased that UDC will take forward the development and marketing of our OLED materials and technologies. We believe our IP and know-how fits perfectly into UDC’s patent portfolio and competencies and that UDC will be able to generate the most value for the OLED industry out of these combined phosphorescent technologies,” said Felix Goerth, Director Organic Electronics at BASF New Business GmbH.

Since its inception in 1994, Universal Display has invested close to $400 million in research and development to advance the company from a start-up to a leading player in the global OLED ecosystem. The Company continues to invest heavily in a number of strategic programs and is working with customers on developmental and commercial phosphorescent materials and OLED technologies. Universal Display continues to make progress on new and next-generation red, green, yellow and blue emitters and hosts, as well as expanding its core competencies of phosphorescent OLEDs (PHOLED) and other OLED technologies including OLED manufacturing processes and equipment. UDC expects the acquisition of BASF’s IP assets to further fortify its expansive global OLED intellectual property framework.

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