Foxconn, the manufacturer that builds most of Apple's devices, from the iPhone 6s to the MacBook, is reportedly considering making a major investment Sharp's display business. While Foxconn would take a majority stake in the business, Apple would also apparently make its own investment in the company. Foxconn would also look to acquire Sharp's stake in SDP, a company specializing in large displays.
In addition, Foxconn hopes to secure the Japanese electronic giant's 38 percent stake in Sakai Display Products. Founded in 2009, SDP is a joint venture run by Sharp and SIO International Holdings Limited, an investment firm fully owned by Foxconn chairman Terry Gou. The company develops LCD panels suitable for large screens.
Sharp's LCD business has been struggling lately, and investments from both Foxconn and Apple could allow Sharp to keep its 4,000-member staff. An investment from Apple in particular would be a smart move, as the company has already spent nearly $1 billion to shift Sharp's business to mobile displays, away from panels for HDTVs.