Taiwanese Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., also known as Foxconn, has made an offer to acquire the languishing liquid panel display business of Sharp Corp, according to a report by business daily newspaper Nikkei.
The report did not reveal the price at which Foxconn is willing to purchase the operations, which is operating at a loss. However, Foxconn said that it would look to be assisted by Apple in terms of funding the acquisition.
Sharp, which also sees Apple as an important customer, said that while it could not release any comments yet on the report on Foxconn's offer, the company is currently considering several options for the restructure of its LCD business.
Foxconn likewise chose not to provide comments on the reported offer, stating that it would be against the policy of the company to provide comments on speculative reports.
Sharp, based in Japan, was previously a very profitable electronics manufacturer specializing in premium TVs. The company was also previously an important supplier for Apple and other top tech companies, but it has not been able to respond well to heavy price pressures from other rivals in Asia. Earlier in May, Sharp sought a $1.9 billion bailout from banks while promising to cut about 5,000 jobs, which is equivalent to about 10 percent of its workforce.
Sharp CEO Kozo Takahashi initially spurned calls from the company's investors to make a drastic overhaul on its LCD business, stating that a spin-off was not an option. However, back in July, Takahashi said that the company's losses of about $240 million in the second quarter of the year meant that the company would have to consider more options to restore profitability.
Last month, sources revealed to Reuters that Sharp was thinking of creating a partnership with Foxconn along with receiving cash injections from several companies, including Japanese government-backed Innovation Network Corp., which is one of the major shareholders of Sharp rival company Japan Display.
Previous partnership talks between Foxconn and Sharp dissolved in 2012 after Sharp decided not to give in to demands of Foxconn which would have given it too much power over the agreement. However, the two companies have remained in touch, and have also been jointly operating a plant located in Osaka which manufactures large-sized LCD panels.