OSAKA – Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. has proposed buying Sharp Corp. for around ¥300 billion on the condition that the struggling Japanese electronics maker’s top management be revamped, sources close to the matter said Friday.
Under the proposal, Hon Hai, the world’s largest contract supplier of electronics products, known for the Foxconn brand, is calling for the Sharp management team, including President Kozo Takahashi, to step down, and for Sharp’s new leader to be someone from its group, the sources said.
The proposed amount represents an approximately 50 percent premium to Sharp’s current market value. Hon Hai is seen as willing to shoulder Sharp’s interest-bearing debt of around ¥760 billion as of the end of September, according to the sources.
The Innovation Network Corp. of Japan, a public-private fund, is also considering investing in the Osaka-based electronics company, but it will likely take until early next year to finish drawing up its own proposal.
The fund, which is financed in part by the Japanese government, is studying a plan to spin off Sharp’s unprofitable liquid crystal display business and integrate it with Japan Display Inc., sources familiar with the matter have said.
The fund has a stake in Japan Display, which makes small and medium-sized LCDs.
Sharp has been exploring ways to get back on its feet, taking a series of restructuring steps that include job cuts and the sale of its head office building in Osaka.