Japan Display to receive $100 million investment from Apple, says report; shares jump

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Japan Display Inc is seen at the company’s production line for LCD panels in its factory in Mobara, Chiba prefecture, June 3, 2013. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan Display Inc is set to receive a $100 million investment from Apple Inc, its biggest customer, the Asahi newspaper reported on Thursday, sending the screen maker’s shares up as much as 32% in Tokyo.

Japan Display is facing a funding crunch due to Apple’s recent shift away from liquid-crystal displays (LCD) and disappointing sales of the iPhone XR, the only LCD model in Apple’s 2018 line-up. Apple accounts for 60% of Japan Display’s revenue.

Representatives for Japan Display and Apple separately declined to comment on the report.

Japan Display had been pursuing a bailout deal with a Chinese-Taiwanese consortium, but the suitors delayed an up to 80 billion yen ($741 million) investment in order to reassess the company’s prospects.

Consortium members Harvest Group and Oasis Management Company Ltd set Thursday as the deadline to decide on its investment. Taiwanese screen maker TPK Holding Co Ltd and financial firm CGL Group dropped out of the process earlier this month.

A spokesman for the consortium declined to comment.

Japan Display’s shares were up 18% at the close of morning trade in Tokyo, on track for their best day since May.

Japan Display was formed in 2012 by combining the liquid-crystal display businesses of Hitachi Ltd, Toshiba Corp and Sony Corp in a government-brokered deal.

($1 = 107.9900 yen)

Reporting by Kevin Buckland; additional reporting by Makiko Yamazaki in Tokyo & by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; editing by David Dolan & Uttaresh.V

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