$723 million bailout could rescue struggling Apple supplier

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Japan Display has struggled to catch up rivals in OLED displays.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Chinese and Taiwanese investors reportedly will throw a lifeline to Apple supplier Japan Display in the form of a $723 million bailout.

Taiwanese panel-maker TPK Holding, also an Apple manufacturer, and China’s state-backed Silk Road Fund would give the cash to the struggling Apple supplier in exchange for a 30 percent to 50 percent stake in the company.

This would make these two companies the largest investors in Japan Display. At present, its biggest investor is the Japanese government-backed Innovation Network Corporation of Japan fund. INCJ owns 25.3 percent of Japan Display.

The parties involved in the supposed deal have not confirmed it, meaning the bailout might not happen. Japan Display reportedly has been speaking with multiple potential investors, trying to secure a cash injection. It hopes to secure a deal by the end of March.

Japan Display’s struggles

Japan Display has been working with Apple for several years. However, multiple factors hurt the company, including a refusal (or inability) to embrace OLED technology. As companies, including Apple, increasingly gravitate toward this type of display, sticking with LCD hurts Japan Display. Diminishing iPhone orders also reportedly affected the company’s bottom line adversely.

Japan Display’s Chief Technology Officer Kazutaka Nagaok recently said the company must find other ways to bring in money if it wants to survive. With this goal in mind, it shifted one-third of its research staff over to smart sensor development in 2018.

Source: Reuters