Vestel Wins Toshiba Brand for TV in Europe

Toshiba has done a deal with Vestel of Turkey to license its brand and TV business. Vestel has set up an organisation within its own business to run the brand and, at least initially, Toshiba will continue to have design and QA control of TVs sold under the Toshiba brand. The companies have worked together for some time, with Vestel supplying Toshiba sets on an OEM basis. The new deal is for Europe (excluding Russia where Toshiba is in continuing discussions) and does not cover MEA.

We spoke to Liam La Cumbre, who previously ran the relaunch of the Toshiba professional B2B display business and is now Sales and Marketing Director for the Toshiba brand at Vestel. La Cumbre told us that Vestel sees this as a chance to develop a high end and upper mid-range business. It’s OEM business tends to supply the entry level and lower ranges of other brands and so it has less opportunity to gain volume and experience in areas such as UltraHD, where big brand names may choose to make premium sets in house. The new Toshiba TV Europe division of Vestel will supply through existing direct to dealer channels and also through distribution (mainly in Eastern Europe). Staff in that group will be dedicated and will not be involved in OEM business at all. It will be based in Langley in the UK.

The next announcement from the company is likely to be at CES when the 2017 product range will be shown.

Analyst Comment

This looks like a good deal for both companies. It allows Toshiba to get out of a tough market and still derive some benefit from its many satistfied customers. The deal allows Vestel to get better early exposure to the high end set market than it can through its OEM business and should provide an opportunity for higher margin business than it can get from its OEMs. It’s probably big enough that it won’t run into serious problems with competition between the Toshiba brand and its OEM customers (as BenQ did in years gone by in the monitor market). (BR)