Samsung to invest US$111.5 mil. in Sharp to secure LCD panels
By Youkyung Lee ,APSEOUL -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Wednesday it will invest 10.4 billion yen (US$111.5 million) in Sharp Corp. to secure a supply of large-size LCD panels.
March 7, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
The agreement gives Samsung a 3-percent stake in Osaka-based Sharp and a supply of large-size LCD panels for televisions. Samsung said in a statement that the investment will help strengthen Sharp's LCD panel business. The South Korean company known for its Galaxy smartphones and tablets said it will not be involved in Sharp's management.
The alliance is a boost for the troubled Japanese company that has been seeking to raise capital as part of its turnaround plans. Sharp shares jumped 14.1 percent in Tokyo trading.
The maker of Igzo display panels and Aquos TVs has struggled to stay afloat as competition from South Korean and Chinese TV makers squeezed Japanese manufacturers and their ability to make the big capital investments needed in the hyper competitive LCD industry.
Sharp has been in talks with Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., also known as Foxconn, to raise capital but no deal has been reached. Sharp announced in December a 9.9-billion-yen investment from Qualcomm Inc. to jointly develop new display technology.
Sharp has LCD panel factories in Kameyama and Sakai in Japan and produces small- and medium-sized panels for smartphones as well as large panels for TVs.
The deal with Samsung helps Sharp ramp up its display panel production. Sharp's panel clients include Samsung's rival Apple Inc. and Samsung, though the South Korea company gets most of its panel supply from its affiliate Samsung Display Co.