Foxconn, a.k.a. one of Apple’s biggest suppliers, is fighting to piece back together its crumbling deal to take over Japanese electronics firm Sharp — and both sides may well sign a deal this week.
Foxconn’s multi-billion dollar bailout of Sharp was originally reported as being completed, only to be put on hold after the discovery of previously-undisclosed liabilities. It seems that whatever issues there were may have been solved, however, as things appear to be moving ahead.
According to the Nikkei Asian Review, Foxconn has had discussions with both Japan’s Mizuho Bank and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ to receive more support in the deal. Foxconn has been angling to get a better deal for the acquisition — either by paying a lower prices per share for the portion of Sharp, the banks hold, or else the banks lowering interest rates on their outstanding loans to the display-maker.
Foxconn has also had questions made by its own shareholders, mainly concerning whether or not Sharp — which lost around $960 million in the final 9 months of 2015 alone — is good value for money.
What seems clear is that Foxconn is after a bigger slice of the iPhone-building pie. During a time that Apple has focused on expanding its supply chain so as not to rely too heavily on any one manufacturer, Foxconn has made efforts to snap up some of the other companies which regularly do business with Apple. Back in October, Foxconn made a bid for a share in chip-making company Siliconware Precision Industries, only for this to be shot down by SPIL’s board of directors.
Adding an Apple display-maker like Sharp to its portfolio would certainly represent a key step in cementing Foxconn as Apple’s go-to manufacturer. We’ll continue to report as the deal moves forward.