Sharp looks into joint venture

sharp2Troubled LCD manufacturer Sharp is considering forming a joint venture with a third party in a bid to help its panel technology business recover.

And, according to a report in the Taipei Times, Hon Hai Precision is one of the parties Sharp executives are talking to.

Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn, is a giant conglomerate and if a deal is struck between it and Sharp that could well prompt antitrust investigations. Sharp already supplies a chunk of panels to Hon Hai, which specialises in contract work for other manufacturers, including Apple.

Producing LCD panels is a capital intensive operation and the cost of new fabrication plants is immense.  Sharp has faced stiff competition from other manufacturers including Korean giants Samsung and LG.

Sharp has already exited from the US market, will cut its employee headcount by 10 percent and cutting back on other technologies it produced.

The Taipei Times, quoting an unnamed source close to the negotiations, said the question of how much money was involved had not yet been raised.