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Hon Hai chairman Terry Gou (centre) visits a Sharp plant in Sakai, Japan. Photo: AFP

Sharp to seek Hon Hai deal in Taiwan this week


Sharp’s president will travel to Taiwan this week in a bid to conclude a deal that will make Hon Hai Precision Industry the embattled Japanese TV maker’s biggest shareholder, the daily reported on Monday.

Sharp president Takashi Okuda will meet with Hon Hai’s chairman, Terry Gou, the paper said, without citing sources. Gou, who travelled to Japan last week, returned home on Thursday, having cancelled a planned meeting with Sharp’s senior executives slated for Friday.

“We can’t disclose our executives’ schedule, but we are hoping to settle the negotiations as early as possible,” Sharp spokeswoman Miyuki Nakayama said.

Sharp’s shares resumed their slide after Gou’s unexpected departure prolonged uncertainty about Sharp’s ability to secure a lifeline. The stock dropped 12.8 per cent on Friday, and fell another 7 per cent in early trading on Monday after ratings agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded the company’s debt to junk status after markets closed last week.

Apple supplier Hon Hai, which owns Foxconn, surged 7 per cent in Taiwan on Monday, the most allowed in a session.

Sharp’s chief financial officer, Tetsuo Onishi, on Friday said his company regretted that it had been unable to conclude a partnership pact. The debt-saddled century-old Japanese maker wants to sell Hon Hai a 9.9 per cent stake in return for badly needed cash.