eMagin, the US-based developer and manufacturer of OLED microdisplays for AR/VR headsets, announced a merger agreement with Samsung Display, a subsidiary of the Korean tech giant. Samsung says it anticipates “significant potential growth” of XR devices.

The company announced in a press statement that Samsung will acquire all outstanding shares of eMagin common stock on a fully diluted basis for $2.08 per share in cash, totaling approximately $218 million.

Founded in 2001, eMagin has created head-mounted displays to showcase its OLED technology since the release of Z800, which launched in mid-2005. Since then, the company has focused on creating VR headset prototypes to further showcase its high-density OLED microdisplays while also providing its displays for integration into aircraft helmets, heads-up display systems, AR/VR headsets, thermal scopes, night vision goggles, and future weapon systems.

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President & CEO of Samsung Display, Joo Sun Choi, says the acquisition comes along with expectations that XR devices will have “significant potential of growth in the future.”

“This agreement is a validation of our technical achievements to date including our proprietary direct patterning (dPd) technology, provides a significant premium for our shareholders, and represents a win for our customers and employees,” said Andrew G. Sculley, eMagin’s CEO. “By teaming with Samsung Display, we will be able to achieve the full potential of our next-generation microdisplay technology with a partner that can provide the resources and expertise we will need to scale production. Moreover, our customers will benefit from resulting improvements to our production capabilities in terms of yield, efficiency, and quality control.”

The merger will very likely allow Samsung to exclusively manufacture micro-OLED displays using eMagin’s direct patterning display (dPd) technology, which boasts higher efficiencies and brightness since its displays use RGB emitters instead of traditional displays, which typically use a white OLED with a RGB color filter.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2023, whereby eMagin will continue to maintain its operations and facilities in Hopewell Junction, NY. The merger agreement has received unanimous approval from eMagin’s Board of Directors, and stockholders holding around 98% of eMagin’s total voting power have committed to voting in favor of the transaction.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 4,000 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • xyzs

    I was planning to buy some shares of this company, because they could have become a big central actor, but they preferred to sell their ass for a mere 200 millions (lol any bullshit startup that makes a basic app sells for more) and their stock hasn’t even bumped.
    I hope Samsung will do something from it at least.

  • Christian Schildwaechter

    About a year ago there was a lot of excitement when eMagin presented a huge 2.1″ 4K OLED microdisplay at the Display Week 2022 on a PCB labeled STEAMBOAT. That display had been developed with a partner based on their requirements for a proof of concept VR HMD, and of course everybody assumed that this would have to be Valve, and the concept VR HMD would have to be Deckard. eMagin naturally didn’t confirm anything, but mentioned that there was actually a second “larger company” involved, which many assumed could be Apple.

    This second partner would have been very important, as eMagin had neither the manufacturing capacities nor the funds to scale the display production up to consumer product levels, and building display manufacturing facilities is f&%$ing expensive. eMagin CEO basically said this would take at least 18 months, which would mean late 2023 earliest. This hinted at someone other than Apple being the big partner, as Apple initially intended their XR HMD to be released in 2022, so the eMagin display would have become available too late.

    Now of course Apple postponed the release, we expect/hope to hear about their XR/AR HMD in a few weeks at WWDC, and a release later this year, so they could still be involved. But with the eMagin-Samsung merger, it seems more likely that Samsung was the second partner all along, as they not only have the money, but more importantly the production facilities and experience. Which hopefully also means that we are only a few AMD APU iterations away from a new Valve HMD that offers 4K when connected to a PC, but also works as a standalone ready to run large parts of the existing Steam VR library.

  • Ookami

    Seems like we’re going to have a big face-off between Meta, Apple, and Samsung. I’m personally interested most on what a potential Samsung hmd would be (if it’s really supposed to be a competitor of the Quest 3 and the Apple hmd).

  • ZarathustraDK

    $2.08 per share is criminally low for what is basically the best solution to how to make a micro OLED display.

    While I’m glad it’s Samsung who got it and can make it available to all the players, I still hope LG or Apple are going to bid on it. Emagin is not allowed to solicit offers from other companies now, but they’re also not prevented from accepting other offers afaik.

    Yeah I’ve got stocks with them, and 2.08 is still a pretty penny for me, still, that’s a ridiculously low price for what’ll be the best micro display for the next 7 years until micro-LED becomes a thing.

    • nullcodes

      It seems like they are lagging, according to their website .. they have a 2K display that will be in production next year. 2K is too low for 2024, Apple will be at 4K. Meta’s Quest 3 will likely be higher resolution than that too.

    • current stock price is $2.00 even.