Business / Corporate

Apple is considering providing aid to struggling Japan Display, WSJ reports

Kyodo, JIJI

Apple Inc. has shown a willingness to help its cash-strapped supplier Japan Display Inc., The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

While Apple has agreed to loosen the repayment terms for its loans extended to Japan Display, the U.S. tech giant may also consider waiving some of Japan Display’s debt, injecting new cash of up to ¥20 billion ($184 million) and guaranteeing orders to the panel-maker for this year and the following year, the report said, citing comments from people involved in the talks.

Such rescue measures were requested of Apple by prospective investors in Japan Display, the newspaper said. Apple has signaled that it could consider the requests, sources were quoted as saying.

Japan Display incurred a group net loss for the fifth straight year in fiscal 2018, mainly due to falling demand from Apple, its main client whose orders comprise nearly half of the Japanese manufacturer’s sales.

Apple has previously financed Japan Display’s construction of a factory to make liquid crystal display panels for iPhones.

The report came as a bailout plan for Japan Display involving a consortium of Chinese and Taiwanese companies has been thrown into doubt.

Taiwan’s TPK Holding Co., a maker of touch panels, has walked out of the consortium led by China’s Harvest Tech Investment Management Co., which had agreed to a bailout plan including up to ¥80 billion in financial aid.

Japan Display was established in 2012 following the merger of the display operations of Sony Corp., Hitachi Ltd. and Toshiba Corp. with support from state-backed fund INCJ Ltd.