Qualcomm Invests $120 Million Into Sharp

Posted Dec 4, 2012

Qualcomm will be investing up to 9.9 billion yen ($120 million) in Sharp to jointly develop display panels.  Sharp will be issuing new shares to Qualcomm and Qualcomm subsidiary Pixtronix to develop low-power Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) displays using Sharp’s Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide (IGZO) technology according to statements from Sharp and Qualcomm today.

The capital will be used on the development of the MEMS display and to accelerate the commercialization of the technology.  The investment will come in across several stages.

“Expanding our existing relationship with Sharp to jointly commercialize new MEMS display technologies will help both companies realize their shared goal of driving high performance and lower power displays for a variety of devices, including smartphones and tablets,” stated Qualcomm EVP and group president Derek Aberle.

Sharp will receive around 5 billion yen ($61 million) by the end of the year through a private placement of shares and an additional 5 billion yen once progress is made.

Sharp will most likely report a second consecutive annual net loss of over 300 billion yen ($3.65 billion) for the year ending March.  Partnering with Qualcomm will boost their LCD panel business.

Sharp almost received a lifeline from Hon Hai (also known as Foxconn).  Hon Hai planned to invest around $800 million into Sharp, but that deal was delayed because of Sharp’s declining share price, which would have lowered the value of the investment.