Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., commonly known as Foxconn, is ready to invest about 700 billion yen ($5.9 billion) in Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp, a local media report said Friday. Sharp’s stock climbed 17 percent following the news in Tokyo, its sharpest intraday rally in a month.
Hon Hai could make the offer as soon as Friday, the Yomiuri reported. The offer is expected to be about 40 percent higher than its earlier offer of 500 billion yen ($4.24 billion), according to the Japanese daily.
Sharp, looking to sell stake in its LCD display business for months, has narrowed down its search to government-backed Innovation Network Corp. of Japan (INCJ) or to Hon Hai, according to media reports. After booking more than 1.2 trillion yen in losses over the past four years in its core TV business, Sharp acknowledged last year that it was looking for possible partners to restructure its LCD business and better compete with lower-cost South Korean and Chinese rivals.
The company licensed its television business in the U.S. along with its manufacturing operations in Mexico to a Chinese electronics company called Hisense Co. Ltd. in July. Sharp, which also makes displays for smartphones and tablets is currently dependent on its main lenders for survival, according to a Bloomberg report.
“Hon Hai wants to get Sharp’s liquid-crystal display technology,” Yasuaki Kogure, chief investment officer at SBI Asset Management Co., told Bloomberg. He said INCJ may raise its offer for Sharp in response to Hon Hai’s move.
Hon Hai, which makes smartphones like Apple Inc.’s iPhone along with videogame consoles and personal computers on contract basis, said it had signed a letter of intent to buy stake in Sharp in September and was reportedly negotiating on the price. Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou, is seeking to expand beyond assembly to offer components, including displays and semiconductors, Bloomberg reported.