Foxconn Wants to Buy Apple Display Maker Sharp

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Foxconn, the company that assembles iPhones and other products for Apple, is bidding US$5.3 billion on failing display maker Sharp. The deal could let Foxconn supply displays to Apple, but it isn't a sure thing because Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) is bidding on the company, too.

Foxconn bids on failing SharpFoxconn bids on failing Sharp

Sources told Reuters INCJ is outbidding Foxconn and wants to merge Sharp into the Japanese-owned Japan Display. That information may be out of date because reports peg INCJ's bid at $2.6 billion.

Sharp has been bailed out twice in the past two years, and this purchase will mark its third attempt to save the company.

Sharp is a display supplier for Apple, which could play in Foxconn's favor. If Foxconn wins its bid, it would be able to supply those displays directly to Apple. Foxconn hasn't said if it plans to sell stand-alone displays, but has confirmed it would keep Sharp's leadership team in place.

Unless INCJ ramps up its bid substantially, Foxconn could be in a good position to win its bid. If so, the company would be able to add Apple parts supplier to its resume along side Apple manufacturing partner.

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Foxconn already handles manufacturing for Apple and many other electronics companies, so it seems like a natural transition to become a parts supplier, too.

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