Samsung takes a 3% stake in the troubled Japanese LCD pioneer.
Sharp, one Japan's biggest TV and display producers, has struck an important partnership with Samsung as signaled by Samsung's investment of $110 million. Sharp is currently responding to the turmoil that lead to $4.4 million October bailout.
Samsung's investment, which nets a 3% ownership in Sharp also follows Qualcomm's December investment of $120 million. For Samsung, one rational for the investment according to Deutsche Securities analyst Yasuo Nakane, is "a possibility that Samsung in return for its investment, may demand more preferential pricing in parts supplies." Considering the rarity of partnerships crossing over between South Korea and Japan, Samsung is likely also looking to gain access to Sharp's solar panel business.
Sharp currently supplies displays for both the iPad and iPhone, at least in Japan. Unfortunately for Sharp, it does not supply screens for the iPad mini, whose popularity has taken business away from the full-size iPad.
News of Samsung's investment helped shares in Sharp to jump as high as 19 percent, and time will tell whether the move will help Sharp overcome its troubled times.