Apple device maker bids for Sharp

by: John DyeJanuary 21, 2016
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Sharp’s been having a hard time as of late. The Japanese company’s name is world renowned and associated with high quality displays, but last year alone they lost $1.9 billion in spite of massive cutbacks, and they’re over $4.4 in debt to a variety of Japanese banks. The company recently waved a white flag and put themselves up for sale, and who should come along but the Chinese iPhone manufacturer Foxconn.

For a while there, it looked like Sharp was going to hand over its assets to the Japanese investment fund Innovation Network Corp. The fund put forth a juicy $2.6 billion offer that clearly made Sharp’s mouth water, but lo and behold, a new player has waltzed into the bidding war. Foxconn did away with any pretense of haggling and dropped $5.4 billion on the table without hesitation. The Chinese smartphone maker also added that they would pick up the entirety of Sharp’s debt and that Sharp could retain their current management structure.

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Once they picked their jaws off the floor, Sharp said they’d sleep on it and get back to Foxconn in Q2. Foxconn’s motivation in this deal is simple: Foxconn makes iPhones, and Sharp makes the display technology that goes into iPhones. Getting that display tech into their own grip is a no-brainer.

The Japanese government doesn’t like the idea of handing over Sharp to a foreign company, but Foxconn is throwing so much money at the deal that Sharp might not really have a choice. Foxconn makes as much in six months as Sharp loses in a year. Hell, they brought in $1.1 billion last quarter alone. The offer may be just too sweet to resist.

What are your thoughts of Sharp falling into an Apple device maker’s hands? Business as usual, or a significant play in the mobile market? Let us know in the comments below!

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  • MaxPower

    Foxconn also makes phones for most of the Chinese brands included Xiaomi which uses Sharp displays as well.
    So big numbers counting only Apple and Xiaomi.

    What’s happening lately is that these companies might want to switch to Amoled displays (Samsung)

    It’s pretty clear what’s Foxconn is trying to do here:owning Sharp,Foxconn can push the companies to stay with their LCD displays rather than switch to Amoled.

    If I were Sharp I would close the deal tomorrow otherwise they will keep losing money till disappear from the market.

  • Casey Robertson

    Does this mean that they won’t be making Android phones anymore? I hope not. Their bezelless phone was intriguing.

    • balcobomber25

      Foxconn already has their own inhouse brand, InFocus. They license that name from the American company. The Sharp name would most likely become their new house brand. Whether they still will use any of Sharp’s existing plans (or will even get them as part of the deal) remains to be seen.

  • AbsntJ

    Saying Chinese makes the company seems like it originated from China. The company originates from Taiwan, it would be more correct to say Taiwanese company since the last time I checked, Taiwan is still a sovereign nation…for now.

    • balcobomber25

      Taiwan’s status as a sovereign state is a hotly debated topic but that’s for another time and place. The official name of Taiwan is the Republic of China and the official language is Chinese Mandarin and 95% of it’s population are Han Chinese. Even ignoring all of that Foxconn does more business in China than anywhere else in the world. So it’s more of a technicality than anything else, the majority of their business is done in China.

  • Dusan

    Isn’t Samsung going to make future iPhone screens?

  • Milan Stanojevic

    This is not good for cheaper phones, if this become exclusive for Apple.

  • Chris

    “they’re over $4.4 in debt to a variety of Japanese banks”
    I think I can pay off $4.4. Just saying.