Apple Said To Allot $100 Million Lifeline For Japan Display
Japan Display — a struggling liquid-crystal display (LCD) manufacturing joint venture set up by Sony, Hitachi and Toshiba — has announced that a customer will invest $100 million as part of a bailout led by a Chinese investment firm. According to a piece from Reuters, that customer is Apple, which accounted for 60.6% of Japan Display’s revenue in its last fiscal year. Reuters says an investment group led by China’s Harvest Group is investing up to 80 billion yen ($743 million) in Japan Display.
As Apple shifts away from the use of liquid-crystal displays, with the iPhone XR being the only LCD model in the company’s 2018 lineup, Japan Display has struggled with funding. According to Bloomberg, Japan Display was in line for a $1.1 billion bailout from Taiwan’s TPK Holding before the smartphone touch panel manufacturer pulled out from a rescue deal.
|Inside an Apple store in Taiwan
Japan Display has a big $900 million debt to Apple for the $1.5 billion cost of constructing a smartphone screen manufacturing facility four years ago. To help hold steady Japan Display’s finances, Apple has consented to slow the pace of loan repayment for two years and to consider boosting orders from the LCD manufacturer.
Japan Display recently announced that China Harvest Group had formalized a decision to invest nearly $500 million, including the $100 million investment from the unnamed customer. The company also later announced that another firm, Hong Kong-based Oasis Management has agreed to invest between $150 million to $180 million. The investment is stringent on certain conditions, including no significant reduction in orders from a major customer.