Intel, Dell and Qualcomm sizing up investment in display giant Sharp

29 Nov 2012

Display technology giant Sharp is being courted by Dell, Intel and Qualcomm, who are interested in investing in the company to help bolster its battered balance sheet, it has been reported.

The talks with the three tech giants may be a plan B as talks with Taiwanese manufacturing giant Hon Hai Precision Industry Co for an equity stake continue to drag on.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Sharp is eyeing an investment in the region of US$240m in the form of equity or debt from both Dell and Intel or possibly a similar investment from Qualcomm.

Sharp is facing into a second straight year of record losses and is burning through cash.

Its credit rating has been downgraded and the company has sold assets, such as overseas TV assembly factories to raise money.

The Japanese tech giant isn’t alone in its troubles. Sony and Panasonic are also trying to cut the fat and pursue investment.

It is understood Sharp is banking on strong demand for a new LCD technology called IGZO – indium gallium zinc oxide – which doesn’t consume as much power, makes touchscreens more accurate and sensitive and increases the number of pixels per inch for sharper resolution.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years