“Taiwanese iPhone assembler Foxconn is pushing to wrap up a takeover of Sharp Corp. within days, people familiar with the situation said Thursday, after the Japanese electronics company said it favored Foxconn’s offer over a government-backed bailout,” Takashi Mochizuki, Eric Pfanner, and Wayne Ma report for The Wall Street Journal.
“Sharp’s embrace of Foxconn marked a striking turnabout in a battle that has come to be seen as a test of Japan’s openness to foreign investment and highlighted the role of its government in restructuring a troubled electronics industry,” Mochizuki, Pfanner, and Ma report. “Until this week, a government-backed fund, Innovation Network Corp. of Japan, appeared to have the inside track toward a deal with Sharp, even though people familiar with the situation said Foxconn’s $5 billion-plus bid was worth more than twice as much.”
“‘The two offers are not equal,’ Sharp Chief Executive Kozo Takahashi said. He cited potential synergies and the scale of Foxconn, which has $125 billion in annual sales. It is the largest assembler of Apple Inc. smartphones, making them and a range of other electronics devices at sprawling factories in China,” Mochizuki, Pfanner, and Ma report. “Sharp’s CEO said a deal with Foxconn could benefit Sharp’s production, sales and materials-procurement operations. He said he would work to prevent a breakup of Sharp, which makes everything from televisions to air purifiers to solar panels, and had no plans at this point to step down. He also raised the prospect of an alliance with Japan Display Inc., the country’s other major producer of smartphone-display panels. Until now, Japan Display and Sharp, each of which supplies Apple with mobile-device screens, have operated at arm’s length.”
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MacDailyNews Take: Is Sharp’s salvation finally at hand?
State-backed Japanese fund in race with Foxconn to save Sharp – January 21, 2016
Hon Hai considering $1.7 billion stake in Sharp LCD business; to ask Apple to invest a ‘few hundred million’ – September 28, 2015
Hon Hai offers to buy Sharp’s LCD business, wants Apple funds – September 21, 2015
Apple suppliers Sharp, Foxconn in talks for LCD joint venture – August 24, 2015
Beleaguered Sharp’s problems present an opportunity for mighty Apple – May 15, 2015
Apple display supplier Sharp warns on ability to stay afloat after $1.9 billion loss – May 14, 2015
Apple iPhone display supplier Sharp boosts operating profit – August 1, 2014
Sharp dedicates entire LCD plant to Apple – June 30, 2014
Hon Hai in no hurry to finalize Sharp deal – June 26, 2013
Sharp to replace chairman, president after losses – May 14, 2013