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Hon Hai gets in at the Sharp end

by on24 August 2015

Cunning plan to save flat panels

The troubled telly maker Sharp is in talks with Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known as Foxconn, for a tie-up in its struggling flat-panel display business.

Under the cunning plan, Sharp spins off the display business into a separate unit and gets cash from Hon Hai and other potential sugar daddies. One Daddy Warbucks is apparently the state-directed Innovation Network Corporation of Japan.

Sharp's chief executive, Kozo Takahashi said last month that he wanted to restructure Sharp's LCD and consumer electronics businesses, so Hon Hai's involvement appears to be part of that.
But this is the second time the pair have been at the negotiating table. Earlier tie-up talks between Hon Hai and Sharp fell through in 2012. Sharp was mortified about how much control it would have to give up to have Hon Hai.

It looks like the two kept each other's numbers. They also jointly operate a plant in Osaka Western Japan that makes large LCD panels.

Sharp needs to do something this this time as government money is not going to last forever and shareholders are baying for blood. The telly business is not that productive for Sharp, which has fallen behind the more agile Korean companies like LG and Samsung.

Last modified on 24 August 2015
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