By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Seoul, South Korea — Samsung Electronics extended a $110 million lifeline investment to Japan’s Sharp on Wednesday, giving the South Korean giant another source of LCD displays for everything from TVs to mobile devices.
Samsung will get a 3 percent stake in Sharp after the deal is completed at the end of the month.
Sharp has been restructuring its operations in the face of continued losses. It is expecting an estimated $5 billion loss this fiscal year.
Sharp is one of the world’s largest LCD panel makers and ranks as one of the top producers of very-large-screen panels for LCD TVs.
In a statement announcing the deal, Samsung said it plans to be a passive investor in Sharp as it gains a “secure and steady supply of LCD panels from diversified sources.”
Samsung will have “no involvement in Sharp's business management in any way or form,” according to the statement.
The cash infusion is expected to help Sharp meet short-term expenses as it continues to cut costs.
“We have supplied Samsung Electronics with LCD panels in the past, but with this capital partnership we will strengthen our business relationship, providing Samsung with a long-term, stable and timely supply of large-screen LCD panels, as well as medium and smaller LCD panels for laptop computers and mobile devices,” Sharp said in a statement on the deal.
Last December, Sharp secured an up to $120 million investment from Qualcomm, announcing the companies would team up to develop low-power displays for mobile devices.
Sharp also announced an $800 million investment from Foxconn Electronics parent Hon Hai Precision Industry in one of Sharp’s main LCD factories. However, a second investment deal with Hon Hai fell through.
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