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Tuesday, 04 December 2012 11:53

Qualcomm becomes Sharp's biggest shareholder

Written by Nick Farrell

Will spend $121.5 million


Chipmaker Qualcomm is likely to spend $121.5 million in a move that would give the struggling Japanese TV maker the cash it needs to survive.

The two technology firms will jointly develop a new generation of power-saving IGZO displays, newspaper sources claim. At yesterday's closing price that would give Qualcomm a five percent stake. Sharp has lost three quarters of its value since the start of the year.

The deal is expected to be announced within the next few days. Sharp had been expected to make Hon Hai Precision Industry its biggest shareholder adding to an earlier agreement to sell the Taiwanese company a stake in its advanced television LCD panel plant in Sakai, western Japan.

That agreement, however, fell to bits as losses and mounting debt threatened to put Sharp out of business, forcing it to seek a $4.4 billion bank bailout. Hon Hai might still buy some of Sharp's overseas TV assembly plants. Hon Hai still wants to buy three factories in China, Malaysia and Mexico for $667 million.

Nick Farrell

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