Foxconn seeking guidance on Sharp fourth-quarter, deal may not come this week: source

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Foxconn has completed its due diligence on Japan’s Sharp Corp through the end of 2015, but is seeking guidance from the loss-making electronics maker on its latest quarterly performance, a person familiar with the matter said.

Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, is finalizing a takeover of Sharp, estimated to worth nearly $6 billion and marking the largest purchase of a Japanese tech firm by a foreign company.

But a signing of the deal may not happen this week, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.

The Taiwanese company declined to comment.

A Sharp spokesman said that both companies are working hard to reach a satisfactory agreement as soon as practically possible and have not set a signing date.

Investors are edge about the deal’s prospects after a last-minute hitch last month over potential liabilities at Sharp and the display maker’s shares slid 9 percent on Wednesday.

Foxconn, the world’s largest contract maker of electronic goods and a major supplier to Apple Inc, is waiting for auditors and accountants of Sharp to confirm whether the liabilities it has uncovered in its due diligence through the end of 2015 is “in the right ballpark,” one person said.

It is also seeking guidance from Sharp’s team about its latest quarterly performance, the person said.

In early February, Sharp said it expected an operating profit of 10 billion yen ($88 million) for the year ending in March, after reporting a nine-month operating loss of 29.04 billion yen.

(Reporting by J.R. Wu; Additional reporting by Makiko Yamazaki and Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)