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Sharp buys Toshiba’s PC biz in bid to re-enter market

DISPLAY MAKER Sharp plans to acquire Toshiba’s troubled PC biz for an estimated 4 billion yen (£27m), a move that could see the firm re-entering a market it abandoned eight years ago.

According to Reuters, Sharp will take an 80.1 per cent stake in Toshiba’s PC unit and will keep the firm’s Dynabook PC brand name, while Toshiba will retain a stake of around 20 per cent.

As part of the deal, which is expected to complete on 1 October, Sharp said it will issue $1.8bn in new shares to buy back preferred stock from banks in a bid to quickly improve its financial status.

Perhaps most interestingly, the company – which is now under the control of Foxconn, which acquired Sharp for $3.6bn in 2016 – looks to be planning a return to the PC market, making use of its expertise in liquid crystal display production and the manufacturing know-how of its parent company.  

Sharp previously exited the PC market in 2010, saying at the time that “difficult” sales had led it to re-focus on handheld devices, including tablets, e-readers and other such malarkey. 

Toshiba has also been having a tough time flogging its standalone PC devices. The company, which launched the world’s first laptop in 1985, shifted 17.7 million PCs at its peak seven years ago and once held the biggest share of the global laptop market.

However, last year, the firm sold just 1.4 million devices, with firm’s such as Lenovo and HP eating into its share of the market.

News of Sharp’s takeover of the company’s flailing PC business comes just days after Toshiba announced that it had finally completed the same of its memory chip biz to a consortium led by private equity firm Bain, with Apple taking a minority stake. µ

Source : Inquirer

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