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Dell, Intel eye investment in Sharp, report says

The companies could drop as much as $240 million into Sharp in return for either equity or debt.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
Is Sharp's IGZO technology what Dell and the others are after?
Is Sharp's IGZO technology what Dell and the others are after? Sharp

Ailing electronics maker Sharp might soon receive a cash infusion from a few prominent technology companies.

Dell, Intel, and Qualcomm are all in talks with Sharp to invest some cash in the company, The Wall Street Journal is reporting today, citing sources who claim to have knowledge of the discussions. Sharp has reportedly asked both Dell and Intel for a $240 million infusion in return for equity or debt. Qualcomm's investment would likely be smaller.

This isn't the first time we've heard reports of Intel and Qualcomm considering an investment in Sharp. Reuters reported earlier this month that both companies were considering investing in Sharp. However, that report claimed that Intel and Qualcomm would make a joint investment of about $378 million. Another report from Japan's Kyodo News said Intel could invest as much as $500 million in Sharp.

Sharp saw its sales drop 16 percent year-over-year to 1.1 trillion yen ($13.7 billion) in the six months ended September 30. The company's net loss widened to 387.6 billion yen, dwarfing last year's six-month loss of 39.8 billion yen. That contributed to a rather dour outlook in a recent statement to investors.

"Sharp is in circumstances in which material doubt about its assumed going concern is found," the company said in a statement, essentially telling investors that it doesn't know how much time is left.

Sharp's failures haven't resulted from lack of trying. The company has used a wide range of cost-savings measures, including layoffs and asset sales, to address its troubles. So far, however, nothing has changed.

Realizing that, it might sound odd that companies like Dell and Intel would want to invest in Sharp. However, Sharp offers some of the best display technologies on the market, including low-temperature polysilicon (LTPS) and IGZO. Earlier this week, in fact, Sharp announced that it'll start selling an ultrathin IGZO 4K LED display starting early next year. All of those companies are believed to be interested in having easier access to those display technologies.

CNET has contacted Sharp for comment on the Journal's report. We will update this story when we have more information.