JDI plans to sell LCD factory to Sharp to repay Apple debt

by:Kimeery     2021-06-06

Now, JDI plans to finalize a deal to sell the factory and the land it occupies to Sharp, a subsidiary of Apple supplier Foxconn. The transaction is estimated to be worth about 40 billion yen (about 375 million U.S. dollars).

On August 28, according to people familiar with the matter, Japanese display manufacturer JDI is finalizing a plan to sell its main LCD production facilities to Sharp in an attempt to Reduce its debt to Apple.

It was initially reported that this struggling Apple manufacturing partner was considering selling the factory as early as 2019 to repay its debt to Apple. Apple once paid the display manufacturer $1.5 billion in 'advance payments' to fund the construction of the factory.

Now, JDI plans to finalize a deal to sell the factory and the land it occupies to Sharp, a subsidiary of Apple supplier Foxconn. The transaction is estimated to be worth about 40 billion yen (about 375 million U.S. dollars).

JDI’s Hakusan factory is located in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, and is equipped with a production line for LCD smart phone screens. It has been idle since July 2019. According to reports, JDI is not prepared for the iPhone’s shift to LCD for Samsung screens.

In March of this year, JDI is said to have sold LCD manufacturing equipment worth about US$200 million from the factory to a customer (it is believed to be Apple). The latest report suggests that JDI has sold a total of US$281 million worth of equipment to the customer.

As far as Sharp is concerned, the company plans to use the facilities of the Hakusan factory to integrate its LCD panel business for Apple’s iPhone, while leasing manufacturing equipment from Apple. According to reports, a Sharp factory in Kameyama, Japan, will switch to producing panels for customers in fields such as automobiles or medical equipment. The facility can produce up to 7 million display panels per month.

JDI originally planned to sell the plant before the end of March, but the global outbreak of the new crown epidemic disrupted the negotiations. Overall, selling the factory to Sharp and selling the equipment to unnamed customers may make JDI a net profit of approximately 70 billion yen (approximately US$659 million). As of March 2020, it is said that JDI still owes Apple about $800 million in debt.


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