Foxconn is close to reaching a deal to acquire Sharp over the next two to three weeks, after the two firms reportedly reached a consensus on most points at a meeting on Friday, Chief Executive Officer Terry Gou said.
Foxconn Chief Executive Officer Terry Gou on Friday met with executives of Sharp in Osaka.
Foxconn, known formally as Hon Hai Precision Industry, has officially been given preferred negotiating rights, Nikkei reported on Friday. Following the meeting, Gou showed reportedr documents he claimed prove Foxconn had gained a right of first refusal. At the time, he said he wanted to sign a formal agreement on Friday but was stymied by legal procedures.
Right of first refusal is a contractual right that gives its holder (Foxconn) the option to enter a business transaction with the owner of something (Sharp), according to specified terms, before the owner is entitled to enter into that transaction with a third party. In brief, the right of first refusal is similar in concept to a call option.
Gou added that 90% of the expected hurdles in front of a Foxconn acquisition of Sharp have been cleared. The remaining 10%, he said, are legal requirements.
Foxconn will keep the Sharp group mostly intact, only shedding the money-losing battery business. The Sharp brand will be retained, Gou said.
The Taiwanese firm has offered to invest around 659 billion yen ($5.6 billion) in Sharp.
Sharp had been leaning toward a bailout package from the Innovation Network Corp. of Japan but apparently switched to Foxconn after the Taiwanese company raised its bid.