WSJ: Apple iPhone assembler Foxconn offers $5.3 billion for Sharp

WSJ: Apple iPhone assembler Foxconn offers $5.3 billion for Sharp
Foxconn is the contract manufacturer that is known for assembling the Apple iPhone as well as other well known devices. According to a report in today's Wall Street Journal, the company has offered $5.3 billion for Japan's Sharp. But there could be more than one suitor for the troubled electronics firm. An investment fund controlled by the Japanese government, Innovation Network Corp. of Japan, is expected to bid $2.5 billion dollars for Sharp.

Sharp produces display panels for mobile devices including Apple products, and INCJ already has control over Japan Display. Both Sharp and Japan Display are said to share technology about next-gen panels and production techniques. Add to that the thought that the Japanese government would rather that a foreign outfit not buy one of their major tech companies, and Foxconn might not end up with Sharp even if it outbids INCJ.

Foxconn had originally planned to buy a 10% stake in Sharp back in 2013, but the latter's falling stock put an end to that deal. And things have only gotten worse for Sharp since then. The company, which makes consumer products like televisions in addition to display panels, must repay $4.4 billion in loans during March. The money is owed to Japanese companies including Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. Whoever buys Sharp will have to keep that debt repayment in mind.

Blaming a drop in Chinese smartphone sales, Sharp reported an operating loss of $215 million during its last six month period. Still, Sharp's knowledge of the display panels market could be useful to Foxconn. And if the contract manufacturer ever wants to sell directly to the public, the Sharp brand is one that is well known in Asia, Europe and in the U.S.

Foxconn has told worried Japanese officials that if it buys the company, it won't make any changes to Sharp's top management. Sharp is expected to make a decision on its future when it releases its next earnings report on February 4th.

source: WSJ



1. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2386; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Very smart of Foxconn because Sharp makes the IZGO displays that have been rumored to be used in upcoming Apple products.

2. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

dem IGZO and probably OLED dual source with Samsung in the future...solid offering!

3. hanabi

Posts: 177; Member since: Oct 08, 2015

Pls dont sell sharp to another chinese world country :( they are only gunna use the brand power and fill the products with cheap components

4. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

i'm quite sure the japanese government won't allow it.

5. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

iPhone assembler? lol... they make phone for xiaomi and gazillion (not top rank) mobile company who didnt have their own factory.. even the source didnt mention iPhone in their title, lol

7. brian81

Posts: 68; Member since: Nov 09, 2012

Check who's the writer..Alan F...:) Always include apple even did not mention it in the article.

11. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2386; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Actually, you may be mistaken... If you check the list of Apple suppliers it has Foxconn (Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. LTD.) listed for several of their products including: iPhone, iPod, Mac, iPad, and accessories.

6. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I don't think Sharp, a Japanese company are comfortable with the Mainland Chinese as their new owner given their warring history and difference in culture.

12. sbfalex

Posts: 29; Member since: Jan 25, 2013

these guys are actually from Taiwan, Japan's best and fave unofficial ally, not from mainland china. japan and taiwan have had a rather healthy and peaceful past, unlike its most immediate neighbours china and south korea.

8. Tizo101

Posts: 545; Member since: Jun 05, 2015

Another Alan F special lol

10. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

Alan loves Apple. Not strange, tho...

9. ryq24

Posts: 875; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Foxconn is a Taiwanese company.

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