Qualcomm becomes third-largest Sharp shareholder

Sharp has confirmed that the long-awaited investment packet from Qualcomm has been received.


Chip-maker Qualcomm is now Sharp's third-largest shareholder following the completion of a $120 million investment in the ailing electronics firm.

Sharp confirmed that the final $60 million instalment has been completed today (.pdf). This gives Qualcomm's subsidiary Pixtronix a total stake of 3.53 percent and 11,868,000 additional shares in Sharp. The issue price per share is 502 yen.

The ailing Japanese firm and U.S. chip maker have come together through the agreement in order to jointly-develop next generation MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical System) display technology. Under the terms of the deal, Sharp will produce a number of screens in varying sizes that combined MEMS with the company's IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) technology to improve power consumption rates.

Sharp believes the majority of Qualcomm's investment will be spent on general production costs and equipment acquisition.

The deal was announced in December last year, but March deadlines were extended following production issues and the failure of Sharp to meet pre-agreement conditions.

The Japanese firm has attempted to secure funding from a number of sources following poor consumer demand and a strong yen which contributed to the company's poor financial results. Following the failure to close investment by Foxconn worth $806 million, South Korean electronics giant Samsung paid 10.4bn yen ($112m) for a three percent stake in the company. Sharp has managed to survive with the assistance of other technology-based firms, and has so far forced through job cuts and restructuring to try and stay afloat.