Foxconn’s lead zookeeper CEO Terry Gou said Foxconn has been given preferred negotiating rights, and is aiming to lock up a deal by the end of February.
The two companies are said to have reached a consensus on most matters, with what’s remaining being mostly legal and regulatory issues.
“The rest is a process…I don’t see a problem completing this process,” Gou said.
Sharp’s CEO Kozo Takahashi had previously denied that his company had given Foxconn exclusive negotiating rights. It’s not clear what changed to sway the situation.
Foxconn’s bid is believed to be worth at least $5 billion twice what the Japanese government was offering.
The Tame Apple Press thinks that if the Sharp deal is completed, it should further strengthen Foxconn’s links with Apple, giving it the ability to not just assemble Apple products like the iPhone but manufacture displays too. However it is unlikely that Foxconn would want to depend much more on Apple’s slowly failing business, it is more likely that it wants to take a bigger slice of smartphone and other mobile gadget production.