Samsung Invests $110 Million in Sharp for Display Production

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News Posted: Wed, Mar 6 2013 10:46 AM
Cash strapped Sharp in November of last year said it was taking "drastic" measures to cope with a "worse than expected drop" in LCD TV sales, which contributed to a full-year net loss forecast of $5.6 billion. Part of Sharp's plan included a structural reorganization, but there were also reports the company was looking for outside help to stay afloat. It may have found it.

According to Reuters, Sharp is receiving a $110 million cash infusion from Samsung. The $110 million investment translates into a 3 percent stake for Samsung, qualifying the company as the leading foreign shareholder right next to Qualcomm, which itself invested $120 million in Sharp in December.

Sharp Building

Another interesting tidbit is that this is the first time the South Korean TV maker has invested in a major Japanese rival, though the timing comes at a safe time for Samsung. Japan's big three TV makers -- Sharp, Sony, and Panasonic -- have had trouble competing with Samsung outside of their own country.

For Samsung, the company gains access to low-power thin screen technology, Reuters says. What's more, the investment could lead to preferential pricing for Samsung as demand for large-screen TVs increases. And if all that weren't motivation enough, the deal means that rival Apple won't have exclusive access to Sharp's capacity at a plant that builds screens for iPhone and iPad devices.
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