Apple Supplier Japan Display Aims to Seal $468 Million Bailout Deal by End-Oct: CEO

APPLE

Apple supplier Japan Display aims to seal a revised bailout deal by the end of this month for at least JPY 50 billion ($468 million) in vital funding, its new chief executive said on Monday. Minoru Kikuoka also told Reuters in an interview that liquid crystal display (LCD) screens are drawing renewed market interest, pointing to solid demand for affordable smartphones with low-cost screens.

“We are close to (raising) 50 billion and I believe we can cement the deal this month,” Kikuoka, who took the helm of the cash-strapped display maker in September, said.

The deal, if realised, would ease immediate risks of a cash shortfall after Chinese investment firm Harvest Group last month withdrew from the consortium of investors behind the bailout.

Harvest was expected to contribute JPY 60 billion, the Nikkei reported, citing sources familiar with the negotiation.

Japan Display has said Hong Kong-based Oasis Management still plans to contribute $150-180 million, while a major Japan Display client, which sources said is Apple, intends to invest $200 million.

Orders for LCD screens from a major customer have been “stronger than previously planned,” Kikuoka also said. The comment follows a recent Nikkei Asian Review report that Apple has asked suppliers to increase production of its iPhone 11 models by around 10 percent.

© Thomson Reuters 2019

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