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Money not problem in hard-going talks for Sharp deal: Gou

The problem with the partnership between Hon Hai and Sharp, which has been slow in the making, has never been money, said Terry Gou, chairman of Hon Hai, in a recent interview.

“If it's about money, I could transfer the money today, at the 550 yen per share price that we agreed upon previously,” Gou said.

“But the truth is Sharp's management needs an overhaul,” he said. “I try to help Sharp but am powerless to do so.”

He pointed out that once Hon Hai plays a role in Sharp's management — a major sticking point that led to the current impasse — Sharp's “share price would surge to at least 2,000 yen.” It stood at 202 yen at 12:38 p.m. yesterday.

Gou cited Japan's business magazine as saying Sharp's trouble is not capital, but the need to reinvent itself with a partner that can help it combat its current adversity, produce competitive products and lower costs. And the one that plays this “savior” role is Hon Hai, the magazine said.

“I don't need to be a savior for anybody,” Gou said. “All (Sharp) needs to do is to let Hon Hai be a part of its management as a strategic partner, and money will keep coming in.”

“If banks loan money to Sharp, they want to loan to a company with a management that can bring hope in the future,” Gou said. “I didn't want to speak the truth in Japan, because the truth hurts, especially to the Japanese who are a face-loving people.”

Hon Hai yesterday closed down 0.11 percent at NT$89.90, off an early high of NT$91.50, on profit-taking as investors remained optimistic that it would strike a deal to acquire a stake in Sharp.

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