Sharp-Foxconn talks set to end with no stake deal

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 February, 2013, 5:22am

Sharp's talks with Taiwan's Foxconn Technology over an investment in the Japanese electronics maker will probably end on March 26 without an agreement, said two people familiar with the discussions.

Talks had not led to a deal partly because the companies could not agree on a price after Sharp's shares declined, said one of the people. Sharp shares fell the most in two months yesterday, the biggest decline among companies in the Tokyo Stock Exchange's first section.

Stumbling blocks in the talks also included management control and company strategy, one person said.

Japan's largest maker of liquid-crystal displays said in November last year that talks might continue beyond March.

Sharp is trying to raise funds as it forecasts a record full-year loss of 450 billion yen (HK$37.2 billion) amid slow demand for its panels and televisions.

Foxconn initially agreed in March last year to buy a 9.9 per cent stake in Sharp for 550 yen a share. The deal foundered as Sharp's shares plunged for seven straight months, reaching as low as 143 yen, and as Foxconn said it would renegotiate the price.

The Mainichi newspaper reported last week that Sharp might suspend the share-sale talks. The Sankei newspaper said the electronics maker was considering measures including a public share sale to raise capital by about 200 billion yen.

A Sharp spokeswoman said the firm was not the source of either report and that no decisions had been made on ending negotiations with Foxconn or on selling shares.

"Discussions are ongoing," a spokesman for Foxconn said on February 23. "We are not bound by any timetable."