Foxconn’s Gou said to plan appeal on Sharp deal tomorrow


Foxconn Technology Group Chairman Terry Gou plans to travel to Sharp Corp. headquarters in Osaka to meet with management Friday and press his case for a proposed bailout of the Japanese consumer electronics company, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Gou asked for the session Thursday after Sharp told investors it planned to keep negotiating for another month with both Foxconn and rival bidder Innovation Network Corp. of Japan, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

Gou has asked for Sharp’s directors and banks to also join the meeting, though it’s not clear who will attend, said the person.

Sharp Chief Executive Officer Kozo Takahashi told reporters Thursday that neither of the potential partners is preferred over the other at this point, contradicting several media reports. Sharp’s board had earlier planned to make a decision on the day on its favored bailout partner, people familiar with the matter had said.

“Both parties are on the same footing,” Takahashi said.

The battle has drawn attention as a test case of Japan’s willingness to open its economy, following Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s appeal for market reforms and overseas investments to boost growth.

Struggling companies like Sharp — which has now lost money for five straight quarters — have long been able to rely on the country’s government and banks for support.

Sharp shares soared Thursday after Japanese broadcaster NHK reported it planned to give preference to Foxconn and that the company had raised the value of its offer to more than ¥700 billion. The stock gained 17 percent to close at ¥160 in Tokyo trading.

Toyodo Uemura, a spokesman for Sharp, declined to comment. Foxconn didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.