Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn is reportedly willing to pay out 625 billion yen (£3.8 billion) for troubled Japanese consumer electronics brand Sharp. The offer far exceeds a 300 yen bid previously made for the company by a Japanese government-sponsored investment firm.
As part of the deal, Foxconn will absorb all of Sharp's considerable debt. This is said to include an imminent 510 billion yen repayment on borrowings.
Naturally, Japanese officials are expressing concern over letting one of its major tech manufacturing companies fall under foreign control, but Foxconn clearly wants to consolidate the services it offers as Sharp is a display maker of some note.
It supplies Apple, for example, with displays for its devices. And with Foxconn being one of, if not the Cupertino corporation's biggest electronics manufacturer, building iPhones, iPads and other devices, it makes sense it would also want to control the display supply too.
Terry Gou, Foxconn's chairman, already owns a 38 per cent stake in a Sharp display factory in Sakai, Japan. It is clearly that side of the business that attracts the company most.
Sharp has already trimmed and cut consumer electronics lines in recent years, including pulling out of the TV market in the US and licensing its brand name to China's Hisense for use in the region instead. Hisense will release premium sets under the Sharp name in the States going forward.
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