Samsung said to be eyeing $107 million investment in Sharp

The ailing consumer-electronics maker is on its last legs, but things could be looking up since Qualcomm bought a minority stake in December and Samsung may be investing in the company too.

Dara Kerr
Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
2 min read

As Sharp works to restructure and stay afloat, word has it that Samsung may come in to help. According to Bloomberg, Samsung is reportedly in talks to invest roughly 10 billion yen, or $107 million, in the ailing Japanese consumer-electronics maker.

People familiar with the situation told Bloomberg that details of the possible partnership could be announced as soon as today, but nothing has been confirmed yet.

Sharp has had a rough go over the past couple of years. The electronics manufacturer saw sales drop 16 percent year-over-year to 1.1 trillion yen, or $13.7 billion, in the six months that 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. Sharp also forecast a record 450 billion yen loss for the fiscal year ending March 2013.

Not only are its losses "huge," but in November the company also warned investors that there was "material doubt" that it may be able to continue as a "going concern." Sharp has worked to focus on restructuring efforts, which include massive layoffs, that could help the company generate more cash flow and attract creditors to help it raise funds.

Several companies besides Samsung have considered investing in Sharp, including Qualcomm, Foxconn, Dell, and Intel. While it's looking like a Foxconn and Sharp partnership will probably not happen, Qualcomm announced in December that it was taking a minority stake in Sharp and investing up to $120 million in the electronics manufacturer.

Even though a $107 million Samsung investment cannot save Sharp, it would surely be good news to the company and create a sense of optimism around a possible recovery. With the investment rumors flying today, Sharp's shares increased by 15 percent in Tokyo trading. According to Bloomberg, this would be almost the biggest one-day gain since September 1974.

CNET contacted Sharp and Samsung for comment. We'll update the story when we get more information.