TAIPEI -- Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry will offer to take a stake in Sharp as part of assistance to help the Japanese electronics manufacturer get back on its feet, it was learned Friday.
Back in March 2012, the two sides agreed on a deal worth about 67 billion yen ($550 million at current exchange rates) in which the Taiwanese contract electronics manufacturer would buy 9.9% of Sharp's shares for 550 yen apiece. But the deal fell through when Sharp's stock price plunged.
The public relations office of Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn, acknowledged that the company will offer help to Sharp. Though the details are not known, Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou is expected to visit Japan soon to talk with Sharp and its main lenders. The proposed assistance may include Hon Hai increasing its ownership of a liquid crystal display plant in Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, that the two companies have operated together.
Hon Hai's statement Friday repeated Gou's remarks that an investment in Sharp will depend on whether Hon Hai can take part in running the company. Partnerships with others have involved not just investment but various forms of cooperation, including supplying technology, Hon Hai said.
Hon Hai announced in November that it will construct a plant for small and midsize smartphone LCD panels in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung, with mass production to begin in the second half of 2016. While the company seeks to supply its biggest client, Apple, concerns have been raised over a lack of technological prowess. Hon Hai may ask Sharp, which has strength in making small and midsize panels, to offer technological support at the plant in exchange for financial assistance.