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Business

Murata charging up battery production as market demands safety

Investment will lift capacity at soon-to-be-acquired Sony business

OSAKA -- Murata Manufacturing plans to invest between 20 billion yen and 30 billion yen ($180 million to $270 million) in lithium-ion-battery operations, responding to demand for higher safety due to Samsung Electronics' fire-prone smartphones.

The planned purchase of Sony's battery business, which produces electrolyte smartphone batteries that do not ignite easily, will close by July. The investment will be geared toward increasing production capacity at Sony facilities. Lines will be expanded at Sony's Fukushima factory in northern Japan and its Wuxi factory near Shanghai, lifting capacity 10-20%. Output of batteries for electric bikes and tools will also be stepped up.

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