[TOKYO] A Japanese government-backed fund is considering investing in embattled Sharp Corp to take the initiative in reorganising the electronics maker's operations, Nikkei business daily reported, without citing sources.
The Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) and Sharp had hired financial advisors to gauge Sharp's asset value and would hold direct talks on the size of any investment, it added.
INCJ is also the top shareholder of Sharp rival Japan Display Inc, the world's largest maker of liquid crystal displays for smartphones and tablets.
INCJ was considering merging Sharp's liquid crystal display unit with a venture developing organic light-emitting diode display technology that it owned with Japan Display, the newspaper reported.
Sharp had considered spinning off its LCD panel business, which supplies displays to smartphone and tablet manufacturers, and seek funding for it from INCJ, a source told Reuters in April.
Officials from the fund were not available for comment. An Osaka-based Sharp spokesman declined to commentont the report.
Once among the top display suppliers to Apple Inc, Sharp has been pushed aside by the likes of LG Display and Japan Display as the US device maker diversified its supply chain amid longstanding concerns over Sharp's prospects.
Japan launched INCJ in 2009 in a bid to keep the technology sector competitive.