Japanese TV maker Sharp
is in desperate need of a cash infusion
, and it may be getting one from Qualcomm
, which is reportedly going to invest as much as $120 million into the company. That would make Qualcomm Sharp's largest share holder, and could save the company from collapse
According to Reuters
, Qualcomm will work with Sharp through its Pixtronix subsidiary to design next generation display technologies. The two sides might also collaborate on chipset fabrication.
"With this agreement Sharp will accelerate its strategy for growth in small-to-medium-sized LCDs," Sharp said.
Qualcomm will provide some immediate help by injecting nearly $60 million into Sharp by the end of the year. It's not yet been decided when Qualcomm will make a subsequent investment or for how much, though it will be conditional on Sharp returning to profitability.
Sharp fell on some hard times lately and had recently doubled its full-year net loss forecast to $5.6 billion. At the time, Sharp blamed the situation on a "worse than expected drop" in LCD TV sales in Japan and China, noting "drastic price drops of products and devices." The company wasn't confident that it had the "vitality" to survive the current downturn. This investment from Qualcomm helps, and it's also rumored that Apple may have tossed some cash
at the company, though it's never been confirmed.