Foxconn CEO Terry Gou meeting with Sharp execs on Friday to discuss takeover bid

Sharp shares soar 29 per cent over two days as future looks brighter for struggling electronics maker

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 February, 2016, 3:03pm
UPDATED : Friday, 05 February, 2016, 3:03pm

Foxconn Chief Executive Officer Terry Gou is in Osaka today to meet executives of Japan’s Sharp Corp, a Sharp spokesman said, one day after the struggling electronics maker said it was focusing on the Taiwan firm’s takeover bid over a rival offer from a Japanese state-backed fund.

Shares in Osaka-based Sharp soared 10 per cent in early morning trade, bringing two-day gains to 29 per cent.

Gou was due to brief the media in Osaka at 2pm Hong Kong time, the Sharp spokesman said.

Foxconn, known formally as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, has offered to invest around 659 billion yen (US$5.6 billion) in Sharp, according to people familiar with the matter.

One person said Sharp’s board had voted 13-0 to negotiate with Foxconn instead of the state-backed Japanese fund, the Innovation Network Corp of Japan.

The people declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak publicly on the matter.

The Sharp spokesman declined to comment further. Foxconn declined to comment.

A takeover by Foxconn, which assembles various electronics products such as smartphones and television sets for Apple, Sony and many other major international companies, would vastly expand sales channels for Sharp’s liquid crystal display (LCD) panels.

While a generous Foxconn offer had been flagged, many investors in Japan were surprised to see an overseas firm gain the upper hand over a state fund.

The decision comes after months of uncertainty over the fate of the company, whose display panel business has continued to suffer massive losses despite two major bailouts by its banks in the last four years.