TOKYO:

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

Fox­conn Tech­nol­ogy Group Chair­man Terry Gou is con­fi­dent his com­pany will win in its bid to take con­trol of Sharp Corp, the em­bat­tled maker of Aquos flat-screen tele­vi­sions, he said on Sun­day. Sharp will make a de­ci­sion next week on the of­fer, Gou said at a year-end event for his com­pany in Taipei af­ter he met with Sharp man­age­ment at their head­quar­ters in Osaka on Satur­day. The Fox­conn chair­man had planned to make a bid of about 660 bil­lion yen ($5.4 bil­lion) for Sharp, ac­cord­ing to a per­son fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter who spoke be­fore the meet­ing took place.

Gou's of­fer is de­signed to beat out an al­ter­na­tive deal with In­no­va­tion Net­work Corp of Ja­pan, the Ja­panese govern­ment-backed fund, and would in­clude about 390 bil­lion yen to buy new shares for a con­trol­ling stake, said the per­son, who could not be iden­ti­fied be­cause the in­for­ma­tion is not pub­lic. About 225 bil­lion yen will be used to buy pre­ferred stock in Sharp, pri­mar­ily from the com­pany's two ma­jor banks, and an­other 45 bil­lion yen will be used to buy land from the com­pany. "I'm very con­fi­dent, if the govern­ment says they won't touch it," Gou said. He said re­ports that INCJ is a govern­ment en­tity, and that Fox­conn is com­pet­ing with the govern­ment, are in­cor­rect.

Though Fox­conn is of­fer­ing more money, Sharp is lean­ing to­ward a deal with INCJ, which would keep its tech­nol­ogy within Ja­pan and al­low it to co­op­er­ate more closely with do­mes­tic com­pa­nies, peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter have said. "Our terms and con­di­tions are much much bet­ter than com­peti­tors," Gou said. Tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies have syn­er­gies and should co­op­er­ate and de­velop to­gether, he said. "We don't want to de­stroy this com­pany, we want to keep it." INCJ may in­vest about 300 bil­lion yen in Sharp, peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter have said. Un­der INCJ's of­fer, the banks would hand over the pre­ferred shares for free, Nikkei re­ported, with­out cit­ing any­one. Un­der the deal, INCJ would lead a push to re­struc­ture Sharp's so­lar busi­ness, stream­lin­ing pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties and in­te­grat­ing the unit with So­lar Fron­tier K, Nikkei re­ported. So­lar Fron­tier is a wholly owned unit of Showa Shell Sekiyu KK. Gou said at the event in Taipei on Sun­day that Hon Hai Pre­ci­sion In­dus­try Co's profit growth last year met his 10 per­cent tar­get even as sales failed to reach their goal. Profit mar­gins ex­panded be­cause of au­to­ma­tion, he said. Hon Hai, the Taipei-listed flag­ship of the Fox­conn group, makes iPhones, iPads and Mac­Books for Ap­ple Inc.

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