Apple’s main manufacturing partner Foxconn has finalized an agreement to purchase troubled Japanese electronics manufacturer Sharp for 389 billion Japanese yen, (approximately $3.5 billion).
The boards of Sharp Corp. and Foxconn Technology Group approved a plan Wednesday for the Taiwanese electronics assembler to buy struggling Japanese consumer electronics giant for 389 billion yen (US$3.5 billion), a nearly $2.5 billion haircut from its original offer price.
The final price is way below the price of slightly over $6 billion the two had originally agreed upon. However, the earlier deal was put on hold once Foxconn discovered Sharp had hundreds of billion of yen in previously undisclosed financial liabilities. The deal is expected to close this Saturday.
Grabbing up Sharp will strengthen Foxconn’s position as both a maker and an assembler of electronic products. Foxconn has long been a major assembly partner for Apple, and Sharp has become the Cupertino firm’s main LCD panel supplier for iOS devices.
Foxconn in 2012 entered into a strategic partnership with Sharp, as a move to get into the lucrative display manufacturing business, however, that deal eventually proved fruitless.
Foxconn’s move to get into the display business comes in the wake of recent rumors that Apple could be soon making the move away from LCD displays for its devices, instead planning to use OLED-based displays in its flagship iPhone as soon as 2017, possibly sourced from Japan Display, LG, or Samsung.