Foxconn says agreed with Sharp on most points of takeover deal

Terry Gou (centre), CEO of Taiwan's Foxconn Technology, speaks to reporters at Sharp's headquarters on Feb 5, 2016.
Terry Gou (centre), CEO of Taiwan's Foxconn Technology, speaks to reporters at Sharp's headquarters on Feb 5, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

OSAKA, Japan (REUTERS, BLOOMBERG) - Foxconn should be able to reach a deal to acquire Sharp Corp over the next two to three weeks, after the two firms reached a consensus on most points at a meeting on Friday, Chief Executive Officer Terry Gou said.

Foxconn, known formally as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co , has officially been given preferred negotiating rights, he told reporters.

The Taiwanese firm has offered to invest around 659 billion yen (S$7.8 billion) in Sharp, sources familiar with the matter have said - a deal which would make it the biggest acquisition by a foreign company in Japan's insulated technology sector.

"We are 90 per cent there, the remaining 10 percent are legal matters and are not a big deal," Foxconn's Mr Gou told reporters, speaking in Chinese with a Japanese translator. "There will be no breakup of Sharp. I guarantee that the Sharp brand will go on."

Mr Gou made the last-minute trip to Japan to step up pressure on the company to quickly accept his proposed bid, after Mr Takahashi said Thursday he planned to take another month to choose between

Foxconn and the rival bidder, government-backed Innovation Network Corp. of Japan. The stock gained 10 per cent to 176 yen at the close in Tokyo trading, after climbing 17 percent yesterday.

A Sharp spokesman declined to comment after Mr Gou's remarks.

Mr Gou has pushed hard for a deal even as it looked unlikely he would win. Sharp had been inclined to take the bid from government-backed INCJ, which offered about 300 billion yen, people familiar with the matter said last month. But then Mr Gou raised his bid and flew to Japan to make a personal appeal to Sharp's board, its banks and government officials, a person familiar with the matter has said.