Samsung in final talks to take 3 percent stake in Sharp: sources

TOKYO Tue Mar 5, 2013 12:44pm EST

Visitors are seen in front of the Samsung stand during the Mobile World Congress at Barcelona, February 27, 2013. REUTERS/Albert Gea

Visitors are seen in front of the Samsung stand during the Mobile World Congress at Barcelona, February 27, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Albert Gea

TOKYO (Reuters) - South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (005930.KS) is in final talks with Sharp Corp (6753.T) to invest about 10 billion yen ($107 million) for a 3 percent stake in the Japanese company, two sources familiar with the discussions told Reuters.

Sharp and other Japanese consumer electronics firms such as Sony Corp (6758.T) and Panasonic Corp (6752.T) are suffering in the face of aggressive competition from Asian rivals including Samsung.

A Sharp spokesman in Tokyo did not confirm or deny the Samsung investment plan. "This news is not something that has been announced by the company," he said.

Sharp received a $4.4 billion bailout from banks last October but had to mortgage its offices and factories in Japan to secure the loans. It also pledged to trim its workforce by 10,000 people and sell off assets.

The Japanese firm was earlier in talks with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (2317.TW) for an investment, but separate sources have said the Japanese firm's revival plan was unlikely to include capital infusion from the Taiwanese giant.

In December, chip maker Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) agreed to invest as much as $120 million in Sharp. As part of that agreement, Qualcomm said it would work with Sharp to develop new, power-saving screens based on Sharp's IGZO technology.

($1 = 93.3500 Japanese yen)

(Reporting by Reiji Murai; writing by Dominic Lau; editing by James Jukwey)

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