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.
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!