March 3, 2016
Despite the acquisition stumbling over unknown issues, rumours suggest the deal could be announced on Monday.
The OEM had accepted Foxconn’s buyout, worth $6.2 billion (€5.6 billion), but at the last minute the latter halted the acquisition for further talks. According to sources, Foxconn halted the takeover because of “previously undisclosed liabilities”, and needing to clarify “new material information”, though the company refused to elaborate any further. Other sources stated that Sharp has “contingent liabilities” worth around $2.7 billion (€2.4 billion), which “contrasts with Foxconn’s own due diligence” that had revealed a much lower amount.
Sharp in turn stated that it had been “disclosing its contingent liabilities properly”, while Foxconn declined to comment. However, Nikkei Asian Review reported that Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou has travelled to Japan to hold “late-stage talks” with Sharp executives, and that “both sides [are] seeking to conclude by Monday”. Gou and Sharp President Kozo Takahashi are leading the negotiations, and if a deal is struck, both companies will “make the announcement in a press conference” as early as Monday.
As part of its new scrutiny of Sharp’s operations, Foxconn had “dispatched a team to Sharp’s headquarters, plants and other places”, and has apparently “concluded that the contingent liabilities, which could be incurred in the future, do not pose a serious threat”, with this analysis “expected to wrap up soon”.
In January, Sharp denied rumours that it would be selling its copier business, whilst in November 2013 the OEM was rumoured to possibly be entering into an OEM deal with HP to make copiers, whilefurther reporting established that both companies would collaborate on “toner and other supplies”.
Also, in August 2013, Sharp called off talks with Samsung over potentially setting up a joint copier sales company following opposition from other Japanese OEMs.
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