Ailing Japanese screen maker JDI to be bailed out by Chinese and Taiwanese investors

But Japan Display’s close tie with Apple could be a mixed blessing for the deal vital to save the company from ruin.

September 26, 2017, Tokyo, Japan - Japan Display Inc. (JDI) displays the new products of Full Active display panel in Tokyo on Thursday, September 26, 2017. Full Active display has ultra slim bezel of about 5mm. (Photo by Yoshio Tsunoda/AFLO) LWX -ytd-

A consortium of Chinese and Taiwanese investors has reached a deal to inject more than USD 538 million into the ailing screen maker Japan Display, also known as JDI, Nikkei reports.

Japan Display will hold a meeting next Monday to ratify the deal which allows the consortium – consisting of Taiwanese electronic components maker TPK Holding, Taiwanese financial house Fubon Group, and China’s Harvest Fund Management group – to have about half of the voting rights.

Earlier this week, Japan Display said it was “aiming to reach an agreement with certain parties that will lead to 60-80 billion yen financing.”

The company is the largest LCD panel supplier for Apple and has orders from the US firm to supply OLED screens for the Apple Watch later this years, according to Reuters. It’s a lifeline for the company which has been late to follow the industry shift from LCD to OLED screen technology.

But Japan Display’s close tie with Apple could complicate the deal with the consortium, although it’s vital for the company.

Officials from the company reportedly told Japanese media that they were concerned that, as a big supplier for Apple, their deal with Chinese investors could be put under Washington’s increasingly strict scrutiny by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).

Last year, CFIUS blocked Japanese building material giant Lixil from selling its money-losing Italian subsidiary Permasteelisa to a Shenzhen-based Chinese interior design company citing national security reason.

Editor: Nadine Freischlad