The interest of Apple supplier Taiwanese Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., also known as Foxconn, in Sharp was first reported in September 2015. Back then, Foxconn was said to be interested in purchasing Sharp's struggling liquid panel display business.
The price Foxconn was willing to pay for the operations was not revealed, though the company said that it would be seeking assistance from Apple for funding any acquisition that could happen.
The next development in the brewing acquisition was reported last month, with Foxconn said to be interested in purchasing not only the liquid panel display business of Sharp but rather the whole company, at a price of $5.3 billion.
Foxconn's offer was said to be in jeopardy, though, as Japanese government officials were looking to keep Sharp's technology within the country, and so were favoring the company's buyer to be a fellow Japanese firm.
It would seem that these concerns were set aside, as Sharp has reportedly agreed to be acquired by Foxconn for a higher offer of about 700 billion yen, which is equivalent to around $6.2 billion.
Sharp chose to be acquired by Foxconn over receiving support from the government-backed fund Innovation Network Corp. of Japan, which offered the company an injection of funding worth 300 billion yen, equivalent to about $2.7 billion, along with a credit line of 200 billion yen, equivalent to about $1.8 billion.
While the exact details of the transaction have not yet been revealed, it was said that Sharp will be looking to restructure its business under the Foxconn umbrella. It is not known whether the purchase of Sharp by Foxconn received support from Apple.
With the acquisition of Sharp, Foxconn has become a more valuable partner for Apple as aside from assembling Apple's products, the supplier can now also manufacture certain components of devices such as the iPhone and the iPad. The Kameyama Plant No. 1 of Sharp, for example, is focused only on the production of displays for iPhones, with the facility previously receiving a $987 million investment from Apple to convert it to what it is today from a plant for producing HDTV panels.