Sharp acquires Toshiba unit to re-enter PC business

JIJI

Sharp Corp. has completed its acquisition of Toshiba Corp.’s personal computer business, marking a return to the PC business after pulling out eight years ago.

Aiming to nurture the PC operation as a new revenue source, Sharp will take over Toshiba’s high-profile Dynabook brand and adopt the business reconstruction methods of its Taiwanese parent, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.

Based on an agreement in June, Sharp acquired an 80.1 percent stake in Toshiba Client Solutions Co., a fully owned PC unit of Toshiba, for about ¥4 billion.

Yoshihisa Ishida, executive vice president of Sharp, took up the post as chairman of Toshiba Client on Monday, the day the acquisition was completed.

Until 2000, Toshiba held the largest share of the laptop market. In recent years, however, its PC business has stagnated amid price competition with Chinese and Taiwanese rivals.

Toshiba Client plans to accelerate moves to develop products and services using cutting-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence, by utilizing Toshiba’s human resources and technical capabilities, as well as introducing Hon Hai-style cost cuts and other reconstruction methods.

Sharp made PCs under the Mebius brand but withdrew from the business in 2010 as competition intensified.

The company began considering a return to the PC market after becoming a Hon Hai unit in 2016, a company official said.