Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industries has hardened its negotiating position and discussed lowering its original $6bn offer for the embattled Japanese electronics maker Sharp, say people close to the deal.
The sudden gambit, which was described by one insider as coming “straight from the negotiating playbook” of Terry Gou, Hon Hai’s president, represents another twist in a deal that has been stalled almost from the moment it was agreed by Sharp’s board in February.
Sharp agreed to a bailout that would involve issuing Y489bn of new stock to Hon Hai, which would give the Taiwanese group that is better known as Foxconn a 66 per cent controlling stake in the company. But progress was suspended within a few hours after Sharp provided its potential rescuer with information on what people familiar with the matter said were Y300bn ($2.7bn) in potential liabilities.
Hon Hai’s latest shift of position, which could see the Taiwanese company’s huge cash injection offer lowered by an unknown margin, is said to be based on renewed concerns over Sharp’s financial position and the state of its business during the current quarter.
People familiar with the negotiations said that there were now mounting concerns that Sharp could fall badly short of its operating profit forecast of Y10bn for the financial year ending March 31. Some analysts are forecasting that Sharp is on course to post an operating loss of about Y50bn for the period.
Even if the offer is not ultimately lowered, talks between the two companies are not expected to reach any conclusion before the end of this month, said people involved in the discussions.
Sharp declined to comment.
知情人士表示，台湾鸿海精密(Hon Hai Precision Industries)的谈判立场转向强硬，讨论降低其对夏普(Sharp)这家问题缠身的日本电子产品制造商最初的60亿美元报价。