Foxconn 'not aware' of Samsung, Sharp accord

Foxconn 'not aware' of Samsung, Sharp accord

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Foxconn yesterday declined to comment on reports of Samsung's intention to purchase a 3-per cent stake of Sharp Corp., stating that they were not aware of the situation until recently.

Negotiations will continue until the end of March as scheduled, according to Foxconn.

Foxconn had first expressed their intent to acquire a 10-per cent stake in Sharp in March last year, but negotiations have since fallen into stalemate.

Meanwhile, Samsung has expressed its intent to spend over NT$3.2 billion (S$133 million) for a 3-per cent stake in Sharp, representing an estimated cost of 342 yen (S$4.60) per share for the deal, according to reports.

The deal represents a much-needed financial boost to the struggling Sharp, and increased panel capacity, in addition to access to Sharp's advanced technology for Samsung, according to industry observers.

Currently, Sharp supplies high-resolution display panels for Samsung-branded thin-bezel TVs, and hopes to increase the utility rate of its plants in Japan, while Samsung will benefit from having a more stable panel supply to keep up with demand, according to reports.

The deal marks the second incidence where Sharp doled out an ownership stake for an infusion of capital, since Qualcomm purchased 5 per cent of Sharp at 164 yen (S$2.20) per share last December, following the stalemate in negotiations with Foxconn.

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