Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry, aka Foxconn Technology Group, and Japan’s Sharp plan to sign an agreement Thursday giving the former company a controlling stake in the latter through its purchase of newly issued equity for an estimated 389 billion yen ($3.44 billion), the Nikkei Asian Review reported Saturday, citing people familiar with the negotiations.
The world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer and the beleaguered maker of consumer electronics products were on track to strike a deal along similar lines for an additional 100 billion yen last month, but it was derailed by the discovery of previously undisclosed liabilities at Sharp, as Reuters reported.
Foxconn and Sharp both will conduct board meetings Wednesday to OK the agreement before signing it the following day, Jiji Press said.
Under the deal, Foxconn would complement its buy of common shares by helping Sharp pay back loans of 510 billion yen at an interest rate no higher than 0.6 percent and purchasing 200 billion yen’s worth of preferred shares owned by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Mizuho Bank during the next three years, people close to the creditors told the Nikkei Asian Review.
Foxconn and Sharp are expected to officially announce the transaction at a news conference April 2, the media outlet in Tokyo reported. A Foxconn representative told the outlet he did not have any new information about the agreement, while a Sharp representative declined to comment about the deal.
The transaction would mark the largest acquisition by a foreign company in Japan’s technology sector, Reuters reported. The news agency also said it would bolster Foxconn’s position as Apple’s main contract manufacturer as it provides Sharp with the funds to begin mass-producing organic light-emitting diode displays by 2018, when the American company is expected to start adopting the next-generation OLED screens for its iPhones.