DURHAM, N.C., April 11 -- Cree Inc. said it will open a Cree Japan office in Tokyo in June and that it has established a strategic partnership with Sumitomo Corp. Under the agreement, Cree will sell approximately $24 million LED products to Sumitomo --primarily its MegaBright and XBright LEDs -- over a projected fifteen-month period through June 2003. The partnership will replace Cree's existing distributorship arrangements in Japan effective June 2002.
Sumitomo will have exclusive distribution rights in Japan to Cree's LED chip and silicon carbide wafer products for a minimum of three years, and its commitment insures an available local supply of Cree's chips for the Japanese market, Cree said. Cree Japan personnel will support the sales activities of the Sumitomo team dedicated to the Cree product line.