Business / Corporate

Hong Kong fund to provide up to $180 million in aid to struggling Japan Display

Kyodo

Japan Display Inc. said Friday it will receive around $150 million to $180 million in financial aid from a Hong Kong-based fund as it scrambles to secure funds under its bailout plan.

Oasis Management Co. will provide the aid unless “a major client” stops purchasing panels from Japan Display or sharply reduces orders and its share price falls below ¥30 before the transaction is completed, the panel-maker said.

Japan Display supplies liquid crystal display panels for Apple Inc.’s iPhones, and sales from the U.S. company accounted for about 60 percent of its overall sales in fiscal 2018, which ended in March.

On the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Japan Display ended at ¥71 on Friday, well above its all-time low of ¥50.

The aid from the Hong Kong fund is a step forward toward its bailout plan, but the company is still short of its goal of raising ¥80 billion ($742 million) and well behind schedule as well.

Japan Display, created by merging the display operations of Sony Corp., Hitachi Ltd. and Toshiba Corp., has remained unprofitable for years due to falling demand from Apple. The company initially aimed to complete the fundraising by June 14 but is struggling to find sponsors now that two Taiwanese companies have stepped back from the restructuring plan.

The company said earlier Friday that China’s Harvest Tech Investment Management Co. decided to give ¥52.2 billion in aid. The financial support includes $100 million (about ¥10.8 billion) to be extended by Apple, according to sources close to the matter.

Japan Display said it is “currently discussing (more financial aid) earnestly” with domestic and overseas companies.

The display company, established in 2012 with support from state-backed fund INCJ Ltd., incurred a group net loss of ¥109.43 billion in the last fiscal year ended March, the fifth straight year of losses. Sales dropped 11.3 percent to ¥636.66 billion in that year.

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