Sat, Mar 30, 2013 - Page 14 News List

Gou says he will rescue Sharp

Staff writer, with CNA

Hon Hai Group (鴻海集團) chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) said on Thursday that his participation in the management would be the key to bringing Japan’s Sharp Corp back to life.

He does not intend to be just an investor in Sharp and he expressed confidence that his management expertise would help revive the cash-strapped Japanese electronics manufacturer, Gou said during a visit to Shanxi Province, China.

Gou said the problem with the deal is not about funding, but rather “who will be able to revive the company” and he believes his role in management would be the answer.

“They [Sharp] now are worried that I’ll step too far into their business,” he said.

The Taiwanese tycoon said his company does not plan to discontinue its negotiations to forge a partnership with Sharp.

The talks with Sharp “definitely have not fallen apart,” Gou said, amid media speculation that the deal between the two companies had flopped.

Gou also said several banks had approached him with regards to the deal, but he did not elaborate on that point.

In a press statement issued late on Wednesday, Hon Hai said it hopes to conclude its talks with Sharp soon and finalize its investment in the company within three months, with the support of banks.

Hon Hai, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, and Sharp tentatively reached an agreement in March last year for the Taiwanese firm to acquire a nearly 10 percent stake in Sharp for ¥550 per share.

However, Sharp said on March 6 that it planned to sell ¥10.4 billion (US$111 million) worth of stock to a unit of Samsung at a price of ¥290 per share.

On Tuesday, the Japanese company said Hon Hai had failed to meet an agreed deadline for a subscription payment. This led to speculation that the deal had fallen through.

However, Reuters reported on Wednesday that Hon Hai said it remains committed to buying a 9.9 percent stake in Sharp, which would make the Taiwanese company the biggest single shareholder in the Japanese television maker.

Other media reports also said that Sharp is still in talks with Hon Hai over the capital injection, seeking to seal the agreement reached in March last year.

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