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Japan Display's Foreign Backers Seek to Add New Investor: Asahi

Pavel Alpeyev
Japan Display's Foreign Backers Seek to Add New Investor: Asahi

(Bloomberg) -- Japan Display Inc., a struggling supplier of screens for Apple Inc.’s iPhone, has to find an additional investor to get an 80 billion yen ($727 million) rescue package from a group of Chinese and Taiwanese firms, according to the Asahi newspaper.

Negotiations with the consortium, which includes Taiwan’s TPK Holding Co., Harvest Tech Investment Management Co., Cosgrove Global Ltd., and Topnotch Corporate Ltd., won’t advance until the extra source of capital is found, Asahi said, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter. JDI said in a statement on Saturday that there was no truth to the report, without elaborating.

The new investor, which will have to contribute tens of billions of yen to the deal, is necessary because the backers have discovered that JDI is in far worse shape than was estimated when the infusion was first announced in April, according to the report.

JDI’s stock has been trading near a record low on pessimism over demand for new iPhones and concern that long-term growth may be harder to come by in a maturing market. The company racked up $3.9 billion in losses over the past five years, prompting the search for additional capital.

Apple, its biggest customer, is also shifting to next-generation organic light-emitting diode displays, which the Japanese company doesn’t produce in mass quantities. The screen maker earlier this month announced plans to cut executive salaries and eliminate 1,000 jobs through buyouts.

(Updates with company’s denial in second paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at palpeyev@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at sadam2@bloomberg.net, Beth Thomas, Naoto Hosoda

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