Sharp Meets With Foxconn, Japanese Fund Amid Bailout Talks

  • Foxconn chairman is said to have attended meeting in Osaka
  • Foxconn's Gou is said to make $5.4 billion bid for Sharp

Sharp Corp., the embattled Japanese electronics maker at the center of bailout talks, has met with Foxconn Technology Group of Taiwan and Japanese government-backed fund Innovation Network Corp. of Japan, the two rivals vying for control of the maker of Aquos flat-screen televisions.

The meetings took place Saturday, Yoshifumi Seki, a spokesman for the Osaka-based electronics maker said by phone. He declined to provide further details. Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou was among those to meet with Sharp’s management at the company’s headquarters, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Foxconn chairman had planned to make a bid of about 660 billion yen ($5.4 billion) for Sharp, according to a person familiar who spoke before the meeting took place. The Taiwanese company has said it believes there would be a synergy between the two businesses in a tieup.

Gou’s offer is designed to beat out an alternative deal with INCJ, the Japanese government fund, and would include about 390 billion yen to buy new shares for a controlling stake, said the person, who couldn’t be identified because the information isn’t public. About 225 billion yen will be used to buy preferred stock in Sharp, primarily from the company’s two major banks, and another 45 billion yen will be used to buy land from the company.

Though the Taiwanese company is offering more money, Sharp is leaning toward a deal with INCJ, which would keep its technology within Japan and allow it to cooperate more closely with domestic companies, people familiar with the matter have said.

INCJ Deal

INCJ may invest about 300 billion yen in Sharp, people familiar with the matter have said. Under INCJ’s offer, the banks would hand over the preferred shares for free, the Nikkei reported, without citing anyone.

Under the deal, INCJ would lead a push to restructure Sharp’s solar business, streamlining production facilities and integrating the unit with Solar Frontier K.K., the Nikkei reported.

Solar Frontier is a wholly owned unit of Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K.

Sharp’s American depositary receipt rose as much as 13.4 percent to $1.27 and closed at $1.25 on Friday.

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