Hon Hai again denies Sharp timetable

by Matthew Strong

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. on Saturday again denied media reports that it would reach an agreement to take over Japan’s Sharp Corporation on March 7 and sign the deal on March 9.

Years of reports about the Taiwanese firm buying the ailing Japanese company reached a new stage on February 25 when Sharp announced it had agreed to an offer from Hon Hai. However, events took another turn when the Taiwanese group said a document it had received from Sharp showed up new information, reportedly a reference to figures showing that the Japanese company was in even worse shape than previously assumed.

Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou, one of Taiwan’s wealthiest tycoons, reportedly toured a Sharp home appliance factory near Osaka Friday before returning home.

Japanese media reported Saturday morning that the review process for the deal would be completed next Monday and the official signing ceremony would take place on Wednesday.

As on previous occasions, Hon Hai issued a statement denying there was any timetable while emphasizing both parties were seeking to reach a realistic agreement that would satisfy everybody. Any news would be announced after a board meeting of the company, Hon Hai said.

The deal, worth 700 billion yen (US$6.2 billion), will leave Hon Hai with a stake of about 65 percent in Sharp, once one of Japan’s most prominent brand names.

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