On August 28, sharp announced that it would spend $390 million to acquire the smart phone screen factory (Baishan factory) of Japan display Inc (JDI) in central Japan, including land and buildings.
On the same day, JDI issued an announcement confirming the deal, but stressed that the screen production equipment at the Baishan plant would be sold to overseas customers for $285 million. It is reported that the overseas customer should be apple.
JDI said the sale of the white mountain plant was to raise money to repay its debt to apple.
Apple, one of JDIs big customers, is pushing for this integration. Apple will then lease the equipment from the Baishan factory to sharp, and continue to produce mobile screens for apple.
Sharp president Dai Zhengwu said that the negotiation and coordination with JDI lasted up to one year. This transaction is not only fair, but also can create a win-win situation and make contributions to Japanese society. He stressed that the acquisition of JDI Baishan factory will have a positive effect on Sharps overall display business, which will not only help expand production capacity, but also help develop the next generation of displays.
Five years ago, when the JDI Baishan factory was built, apple undertook most of the investment of about 170 billion yen in the form of advance collection. It started operation at the end of 2016 with a capacity of 7 million mobile phone panels per month. Apples use of OLED screens on high-end iPhone models has had a negative impact on Baishan factory and its operation has been sluggish. Production has been suspended since July 2019.