Sharp appoints Foxconn vice chairman as new president

Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp named a Foxconn vice chairman as its new president on Thursday, after reporting an annual loss that more than tripled due to slumping display prices and slower sales of client Apple Inc’s  iPhones.

In its first results since agreeing a $3.5 billion stake sale to Taiwan’s Foxconn in April, Sharp said operating loss ballooned to 162 billion yen ($1.5 billion) in the financial year ended March from the previous year’s 48.1 billion yen.

The result was nevertheless better than the 170 billion yen Sharp forecast in March.

Net loss widened to 256 billion yen from 222.35 billion yen.

Sharp also said Tai Jeng-wu, vice chairman of Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, would become its president.

The 30-year Foxconn veteran, a close aid to Foxconn founder Terry Gou, will become the first outsider to lead the century-old Japanese company.

Tai is fluent in Japanese, played a key role in Foxconn’s negotiations with Sharp, and has extensive experience running Foxconn’s operations in Shenzhen, people at Foxconn told Reuters.

Sharp’s outgoing Chief Executive Kozo Takahashi said the company and Foxconn aim to close the takeover deal by the end of June. The companies previously said the deadline was Oct. 5.

The takeover by Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, would vastly expand sales channels for Sharp’s display products and provide funds for developing advanced panels.

The investment is also widely expected to help Sharp avoid delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange as it needs to clear liabilities in excess of assets within a year to stay listed.

Sharp will hold an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting to approve Tai’s appointment after the acquisition payment is settled, the company said.

Source: Reuters

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