Hon Hoi, Sharp talks fail
Hon Hai Group (鴻海集團) and Japan’s Sharp Corp will cease their year-long talks on capital cooperation tomorrow because the two parties cannot come to terms on the proposed partnership deal, Japan’s Sankei Shimbun reported on Saturday.
Hon Hai, the world’s largest electronic manufacturing service provider, and cash-strapped 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, both sides have since August last year tried to renegotiate the terms, including the acquisition price, after the Japanese firm’s share prices fell sharply, amid concerns over its bottom line.
R&H opening Kaohsiung studio
Rhythm & Hues Studios Taiwan Co (節奏), a subsidiary of the California-based visual effects company Rhythm & Hues Studios Inc (R&H), will move into a new facility in southern Taiwan next week, an executive said on Saturday.
“Everything is working fine and on track,” Rhythm & Hues Studios Taiwan manager Mike Yang (楊修宇) said.
Seven artists who have finished training in India will start to work at the new Greater Kaohsiung studio next week, along with 10 other administrative staff, Yang said.
The new facility will offer space to more than 200 local and foreign artists and instructors over the next five years, according to the company.
R&H has a globally distributed production infrastructure, with studios in Mumbai and Hyderabad in India, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Vancouver, Canada.
The company received an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects this year for Life of Pi.
Asia Cement China profits fall
Asia Cement Corp (亞洲水泥), one of Taiwan’s leading cement suppliers, said on Saturday that its subsidiary in China — Asia Cement (China) Holdings Corp (亞泥中國控股) — witnessed its earnings plunge last year due to an oversupply in China.
Asia Cement (China) posted 395 million yuan (US$63.71 million) in net profit last year, down 70.53 percent from 2011.
Its earnings per share stood at 0.25 yuan, down from 0.86 yuan a year earlier.
Reflecting falling prices in the Chinese market, the subsidiary posted 6.68 billion yuan in revenue last year, down 18.55 percent from a year earlier, Asia Cement said.
A board meeting of Asia Cement (China) proposed a dividend of 0.1 yuan to stakeholders, representing a 40 percent payout ratio. The proposed dividend was lower than the 0.17 yuan it issued for 2011.
Comebuy opens new Japan shop
Taiwanese teashop chain Comebuy opened its third shop in Japan on Friday, as part of the company’s ambitious plan to open 100 outlets in Japan within three years.
Comebuy was also the first Taiwanese bubble tea enterprise to venture into the European market, opening a shop in Berlin, Germany, in August 2011.
It was also the first to tap the Big Apple, debuting on 5th Avenue August last year.
The company also has teashops in China, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
It is also planning to make inroads into France, the Czech Republic, the UK and India.
Established in 2001, Comebuy opened its first teashop in Taiwan in 2002 and now has about 200 outlets worldwide.
ECCT plans expansion
The European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan (ECCT) is planning to include more companies as members to accelerate its goal of becoming a nationwide organization.
“We are targeting 1,000 members this year,” ECCT chairman Giuseppe Izzo told reporters on the sidelines of the chamber’s luncheon with journalists on Wednesday.
Reaching the target would result in the addition of 300 new members, Izzo said, compared with a flat growth in the chamber’s membership last year.
The chamber represents about 700 members from 400 companies and organizations.
With more than US$31 billion in direct foreign investment, European businesses remain the largest group of foreign investors in Taiwan, the chamber said.