Sharp: An investment by Foxconn

Taiwan’s Hon Hai Group, which owns the Foxconn assembly plants that produce iPads and iPhones, is investing $1.6 billion in Japan’s Sharp, a major manufacturer of thin-film transistor liquid-crystal displays. In February, Sharp announced it expects to lose $3.49 billion this fiscal year, partly because an investment in a plant to produce LCDs larger than 55 inches has yet to pay off, as consumers favor smaller sets. Daiwa Securities Capital Markets says the deal—which gives Hon Hai 46.5 percent of the Sharp unit that owns the LCD fab—is more evidence that Apple may be working on an iTV. This is Hon Hai’s third investment in display makers in three years.

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