Deja vu? The Foxconn acquisition of Sharp was almost a done deal a few weeks ago, until Sharp revealed some additional liabilities at the eleventh hour it had not previously disclosed. This meant Foxconn had to go back to the drawing board and re-assess the deal, renegotiating some parts of the contract with Sharp. The initial offer was worth $6.2 billion. Today, the companies announced Foxconn will buy Sharp in a $3.5 billion dollar deal.
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The deal is seen as a big win for Foxconn, which wants to elevate itself further up the technology chain moving from a ‘simple’ assembler to a vital part of the supply chain. Sharp primary makes LCD displays for smartphones and tablets.
With the buyout, Foxconn is well positioned to negotiate with Apple for future iPhone screen production, given the two companies are already good partners for the assembly side. Outside of its deals with Apple, Foxconn-as-a-screen-display-manufacturer gives it another potential source of revenue, as it looks to become less dependent on iPhone and iPad production given Apple’s slowing growth and unit sales.
The deal was meant to close in February, but Sharp accountants reported significant liabilities at the last minute: naturally, Foxconn ‘went berserk’. However, the companies have finally resolved their differences with the official announcement today of the acquisition. The cost of the liabilities is reflected in the lower purchase price than the original offer.