Sharp Purchasing Toshiba’s PC Business

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Toshiba Corporation of Tokyo, Japan, announced today that it is selling 80.1 percent of its shares in its PC business, Toshiba Client Solutions Company, to Sharp Corporation of Osaka, Japan, for $36 million (4 billion yen). Sharp is said to be scheduled to complete the purchase on October 1, 2018. Sharp also said it will issue $1.8 billion in new shares to buy back preferred stock from banks, indicating a recovery under the control of Foxconn.

Sharp had quit the PC business in 2010. According Sharp will be able to leverage the power of its parent company, Foxconn, the world’s biggest contract manufacturer, to produce PCs more cheaply, as it has done with TVs.

“Foxconn is a PC contract manufacturer and has a great deal of expertise and production capacity,” said Hiromi Yamaguchi, senior analyst at Euromonitor International. “This acquisition will prove a further catalyst for more Sharp and Foxconn synergies.”

After the purchase is complete, Sharp will continue to provide brand licensing for Toshiba PCs and laptops.

Toshiba launched the world’s first laptop PC in 1985, and sold 17.7 million PCs at its peak seven years ago. Last year, it sold 1.4 million units. According to Euromonitor International, a London-based research firm, Toshiba was ranked eighth in terms of global laptop share in 2017 with 1.92 percent.

Two years ago, Sharp was purchased by Taiwan’s Foxconn, which is otherwise known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, and posted its first annual net profit in four years, recently.

Our Take

Another iconic brand appears to bite the dust. Since there is no doubt that the Toshiba brand carries considerably more clout in the PC marketplace vs. that of Sharp, questions remain: 1) will the Foxconn PC products carry the Toshiba brand name? and 2) will users purchase Sharp-branded PCs in an ultra-competitive market that includes the likes of HP, Lenovo, Dell, Apple, Asus, et.al.?

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