TaipeI,– The Taiwanese company that assembles Apple’s iPhones agreed Wednesday to buy control of financially struggling Sharp Corp. for $3.5 billion in the first foreign takeover of a major Japanese electronics producer.
The acquisition by Foxconn unites Sharp, a pioneering electronics brand founded in 1912, with a company six decades younger that is little known to consumers but has grown rapidly as a contract manufacturer for global brands.
The price of 389 billion yen was a reduction of 100 billion yen, or about 20 percent, from the 489 billion yen ($4.4 billion) that Sharp said Feb. 25 that Foxconn had agreed to pay. The Taiwanese company said at that time it wasn’t ready to sign a deal.
The companies gave no reason for the change but news reports suggested Foxconn was concerned about taking on additional liabilities it learned about late in negotiations.
The commitment by Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., to buy 66 percent of Osaka-based Sharp followed weeks of uncertainty over what the Japanese company said was a deal at a higher price.