Taiwan’s Foxconn group has made a 625 billion yen (US$5.3 billion) offer to acquire Japan’s Sharp Corporation, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Sharp is expected to make a decision on the bid before the end of this month as it is also reviewing a rival offer from the Innovation Network Corp of Japan (INCJ), a government-backed investment fund, according to the report.
Although INCJ is the preferred buyer among Tokyo officials because it would keep Sharp under Japanese control, Foxconn is offering more money for Sharp and a willingness to shoulder all of its debt, sources were quoted as saying.
Foxconn’s offer comes as Sharp, which makes display screens for smartphones, tablets and televisions among other things, has been saddled with heavy debts.
The troubled Japanese electronics maker has been bailed out repeatedly by banks.
Foxconn, the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer and a major assembler of Apple devices, first offered to invest in Sharp in 2012, but talks ended in failure.
Sharp is said to face a March due date for repaying 510 billion yen in borrowings.
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