Business / Corporate

LCD maker Japan Display, a key Apple supplier, plans ¥110 billion bailout deal this week

Kyodo, Reuters

Display panel maker Japan Display Inc., a key supplier of Apple Inc., said Monday it is aiming to agree this week on a bailout of more than ¥110 billion ($989 million) from a group of Chinese and Taiwanese companies and an investment fund backed by the Japanese government.

The company said it is negotiating a capital injection of ¥60 billion to ¥80 billion by the group, including China’s state-owned Silk Road Fund and Taiwan’s TPK Holding Co., through the issuance of new shares and bonds.

It is also expecting the public-private fund INCJ Ltd., its largest shareholder with a 25.3 percent interest, to agree on refinancing, including a conversion of debts to preferred shares, the company often referred to as JDI said.

One of the world’s top vendors of LCD panels used in iPhones, Japan Display has been battered by Apple’s shifting fortunes. It has been hurt in particular by a slowdown in iPhone sales and a proliferation of new models that use newer, organic light-emitting displays (OLED).

Japan Display has said it expects to book a net loss for fiscal 2018 that ended in March for the fifth consecutive year due to slowing sales of display panels for Apple products.

Japanese electronics companies have been competing fiercely with South Korean rivals such as Samsung Electronics Co. in developing advanced display panels.

Japan Display, which was formed in 2012 through a merger of the LCD operations of Hitachi Ltd., Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp., initially aimed to close the bailout deal by the end of March.

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