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Intel and Qualcomm consider $378m investment in Sharp

Might not be enough
Wed Nov 14 2012, 15:24
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SILICON CHIP VENDORS Intel and Qualcomm are in talks to invest $378m in Sharp.

Sharp, which invested heavily in LCD production plants during the television boom five years ago, has been in dire straits in recent months with its executives questioning whether the firm can go on.

Now Intel and Qualcomm are reportedly looking to plough $378m into Sharp in order to gain access to its LCD technologies.

According to Reuters' sources, Qualcomm's investment in Sharp could be agreed by the end of November. Intel's talks, however, are not that far along, as Intel is not sure of Sharp's future financial outlook.

Intel had been rumoured to be looking at investing in Sharp for its IGZO display technology. However a linkup between the two firms was seen as unlikely, according to one of The INQUIRER's sources within Chipzilla. Given Intel's 60 percent profit margins it seems improbable that it will want to invest in a business that has been deeply unprofitable for not just Sharp but Sony and Panasonic too.

Sharp's displays are used in a number of high-end products including Apple's Iphone and Ipad, however the firm is still struggling to pay off the debt it has taken on by building several LCD manufacturing plants. While the firm's IGZO LCD technology looks very impressive and the firm is desperately trying to reorganise itself away from the television market, even a $378m investment might not be enough to dig the firm out from under its mountain of debt. µ


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