Sharp to buy Toshiba’s PC business, license brand

Sharp Corp, controlled by Foxconn Technology Group, plans to buy Toshiba Corp’s personal-computer business as its Taiwanese parent seeks to expand beyond contract manufacturing and build a brand of its own.

Toshiba is selling 80% of the unit for 4 billion yen ($36 million) and the two companies aim to complete the sale by Oct. 1, they said in statements on Tuesday. Toshiba makes laptops and tablets for consumers and enterprise customers under the Dynabook brand.

Both companies said the deal will have little impact on their earnings.

This the latest in a string of deals by Toshiba, which has been forced to sell off units to repair a balance sheet after the bankruptcy of a nuclear energy subsidiary.

Sharp, which shuttered its own PC operations in 2010, is betting it can turn around Toshiba’s money-losing business with the help of Foxconn’s extensive supply chain. Foxconn’s Terry Gou has been seeking ways to reduce the Taiwanese contract manufacturer’s reliance on Apple Inc, which accounts for more than half its revenue.

Toshiba’s PC operations recorded a total of 97 billion yen in operating losses over the past three fiscal years.

Sales fell 75% during the period as the company withdrew from overseas consumer markets, shuttered factories and outsourced production.

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Sharp to buy Toshiba’s PC business, license brand