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Hon Hai aiming to participate in Sharp management: report

Hon Hai aiming to participate in Sharp management: report

Taipei, March 24 (CNA) Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (??) wants to participate in the management of Sharp Corp. if it is to invest in the struggling Japanese electronics maker, Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou said in a report in Toyo Keizai. In an interview published in the Japanese weekly Friday, Gou said Hon Hai is ready to support Sharp financially, but the support is contingent on being able to join in the Japanese company's management. Gou said he has not met with Sharp President Kozo Takahashi in a year, but if the Sharp executive wanted to see him, he would be able to fly to Japan at any time. Hon Hai, the world's largest contract electronics maker known for assembling iPhones and iPads for Apple Inc., agreed in March 2012 to buy a 9.9 percent stake in the financially troubled Japanese company for 66.9 billion yen (US$708 million). But the deal fell apart in 2013 after weak earnings reports sent Sharp shares into a tailspin. The negotiations also broke down over Sharp's refusal of Gou's request to have a say in the company's management. In July 2012, however, Gou in a personal capacity acquired a 50 percent stake in Sharp's 10th-generation display panel plant in Sakai, a city in Osaka Prefecture, for 66 billion yen. Gou told the Toyo Keizai that based on the revival of the Sakai flat panel plant following his investment, he saw a 70 to 80 percent chance that Sharp would climb out of its current doldrums were Hon Hai to participate in Sharp's management. According to Hon Hai, the Sakai flat panel plant turned a profit in 2013 after Gou got involved and remained profitable in 2014. Hon Hai said Gou's investment in the Sakai plant has emerged as a successful model of cooperation with Sharp, and it hoped that a purchase of a stake in the Japanese company in the future would create a win-win situation. Prospects of that seem unlikely, however, after Sharp said it would be willing to resume negotiations with Hon Hai if the Taiwanese firm stuck to its previous commitment to acquire a stake in the company for 550 yen per share. Sharp shares closed at 249 yen in Tokyo on Monday. (By Jalen Chung and Frances Huang)


Updated : 2021-05-07 03:31 GMT+08:00