TOKYO – Japan’s cash-strapped Sharp Corp. is reportedly in detailed talks with both Intel Corp. and Qualcomm Inc. for an investment of up to $500 million, the Kyodo News agency reported Tuesday (Nov. 14).
Reuters also reported Wednesday that the joint investment in Sharp would total about $378 million. The news agency cited two unnamed sources allegedly familiar with the talks.
None of the companies has confirmed the talks.
The investment by the world’s largest CPU vendor and the leading mobile chip supplier is badly needed by Sharp, which is weighted down by an expected annual loss estimated at $5.6 billion. Sharp warned earlier this month that it may not be able to survive as an independent company. After announcing a massive quarterly loss on Nov. 1, the company acknowledged "serious negative operating cash flow."
Intel is said to be interested in Sharp’s power-saving IGZO displays for its Ultrabook line.
Reuters reported that Sharp may reach an agreement as early as the end of November with Qualcomm, while "talks with Intel are less concrete amid the chip maker's unclear financial picture."
Well, none of the companies mentioned in the story as potential investors will be a winner -- unless Sharp gets its act together. There is still a lot of work ahead for Sharp. Even if either Intel or Qualcomm can bring their customers to Sharp as potential buyers of Sharp's small to mid-range panels, that's not an automatic win either for Qualcomm or Intel -- unless Sharp can deliver goods on time, in good quality, in volume and at the price their customers demand.