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Japan Display Holds Talks With Apple, Sharp Over Sale Of Whole Of Hakusan Factory

Japan Display (JDI) is in talks with Apple and Sharp to sell its main Hakusan factory in Ishikawa Prefecture, the Nikkei Asian Review reported, citing several sources. Poor sales mean the manufacturing plant has not produced any displays since July, it said. The sources said that JDI is negotiating with Apple to sell the factory for JPY 80-90 billion.

The factory went on stream at the end of 2016, mostly producing LCD panels for iPhones, but output plummeted after Apple switched mostly to next-generation OLED displays. Apple had paid nearly half the plant’s JPY 170 billion construction cost in advance. JDI has been hit by competition from rivals’ production of liquid crystal displays. Sharp’s production had risen because of strong demand for Apple iPhones.

On 12 December, JDI announced that it was in the final stage of talks with a potential buyer of equipment at the Hakusan plant for about USD 200 million. The Nikkei Asian Review said this buyer was likely to be Apple, and that it appears that the scope of the talks has shifted to selling the entire facility, including land and buildings. It quoted a statement from JDI on 27 December that it is “considering a wide range of options” for the Hakusan factory.

JDI hopes that selling the plant will help its turnaround efforts. Apple and Sharp are considering how to share stakes in the facility, said Nikkei Asian Review.―Telecompaper

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