Japan Display (JDI) will sell a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) factory and the land it sits on to Sharp for US$390 million, the company announced on Friday.
The company also said it will sell the equipment at the Hakusan LCD plant to an “overseas customer” for US$285 million, JDI said. The customer in question is likely Apple.
According to Nikkei, the company plans to use the cash from the sales to payback its debts to the iPhone maker.
Back in 2015, JDI burrowed US$700 million from Apple for the US$1.5 billion needed to build a Hakusan factory.
Sharp, which is owned by Foxconn, is reportedly buying the factory from Apple’s request. Sharp supplies sensors, camera modules and LCD panels to Cupertino.
The company will produce LCD panels for Apple at Hakusan, while burrowing the equipment for the iPhone maker. It will also reportedly install new equipment and develop next-generation display panels there.
Sharp has been producing LCD panels for Cupertino at its Kameyama factory previously but this will be shifted for those used in automobiles and medical devices.
Sharp is planning to separate its LCD business to a separate company in October and secure funding to develop next-generation display panels.
Meanwhile, JDI was initially planning to wrap up the sales of Hakusan plant in March but this was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The plant has been operating since late 2016 and can produce 7 million small- to mid-sized LCD panels per month.
Production output dropped beginning in July of last year, however, as Apple shifted the panels on its iPhones from LCD to organic light emitting diode (OLED).