Back in March 2015 we posted a report titled "Foxconn to Make Second Attempt at Acquiring a Stake in Sharp." Then in September we posted another report titled "Foxconn Seeks Funding from Apple to Buyout Sharp's LCD Business." Foxconn has been trying for years to acquire Sharp for a number of reasons including gaining access to their advanced technology relating to display backlighting. Today, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Foxconn has made another bid for Sharp at $5.3 Billion.
Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that assembles the bulk of the world's iPhones, has offered about $5.3 billion to take over troubled Japanese electronics maker Sharp. Yet once again that could just be a dream for Foxconn as Japanese officials have expressed concern about letting Sharp come under foreign control, citing the company's technology in display panels.
The other bidder is Innovation Network Corp. of Japan which already owns a controlling stake in Japan Display Inc., another major display maker. Officials say the two Japanese panel makers share know-how in next-generation panel technology and mass production.
Japan's industry minister Motoo Hayashi said this week that "Japan's technology is leading the rest of the world and we would like to help make it even more competitive."
In 2012, Terry Gou, Foxconn's chairman, personally acquired a 38% stake in a Sharp display factory in Sakai, Japan. At the same time, Foxconn agreed to buy a 10% stake in Sharp, but that deal unraveled in 2013 after dismal earnings reports sent Sharp's shares plunging.
Despite Sharp's troubles, the company's display and manufacturing know-how remain attractive to Foxconn, people familiar with the companies said. Also, while Foxconn principally assembles electronics to be sold under other brand names, the Sharp brand could be valuable if Foxconn wants to sell its own products to consumers.