D Day Looms For Loss Making Sharp, Decision This Week

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Sharp the Company that makes more money flogging copiers, than appliances and TV’s in Australia is set to make a decision on their future this week after racking up billions in losses.

Hon Hai Precision Industry which is known as Foxconn and is a major partner with Apple, – plans to raise its bid to nearly US$5.8bn however the Japanese Government who are struggling in the consumer electronics market are desperate to hold onto Sharps TV technology.  

In a last-ditch attempt to persuade sceptics, Terry Gou, founder and chairman of Taiwan’s Hon Hai, is set to raise the offer for the struggling Japanese electronics maker from an earlier offer of US$5.2B according to sources. 

Foxconn, would retain the Sharp brand and would not seek to integrate Sharp into other companies, Gou said.

“We don’t want to destroy this company. We want to keep this company for another 100 years,” Gou said. “Working together with us is the right decision.”

While his comments on the potential deal were the most detailed to date from Hon Hai, Gou declined to talk about specific figures of Hon Hai’s investment proposal due to non-disclosure pacts that the parties have signed.

Gou said he expected Sharp’s board will make a final decision before Friday.

When asked about whether Hon Hai could succeed, Gou said: “Yes, I am very confident. We think our terms and conditions are much better than our competitors.”

The bidding war for Sharp has intensified in the past few weeks as Foxconn competes with a rival offer made by a government-backed fund.

The clash has also drawn the attention of investors as a test case for Japan’s openness to foreign business and its commitment to governance reforms.

Mr Gou met with Japanese government and bank officials in Tokyo earlier this week as he sought to allay concerns about Sharp’s advanced display technology falling into foreign hands.

The previous bid submitted by Foxconn included promises to protect jobs and to work closely with Sharp’s management team to turn round the Japanese company, according to people with knowledge of the offer.

The offer also included a promise to buy Y200bn of Sharp’s preferred stock owned by the banks.

Sharp and its lenders are still leaning towards an offer made by the state-backed Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), which has played an active role in consolidating Japanese players in the display and chip making industries.
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