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Sharp liabilities holding up Foxconn takeover simply 'worst-case' risks

The liabilities that led Foxconn — Apple's main manufacturing partner — to delay its planned takeover of Sharp actually consisted of a study of worst-case risks, a report said on Monday.

That study was, moreover, unchecked, a source elaborated to Reuters. On Friday, the newswire agency said that Foxconn and Sharp postponed a talks deadline by one to two weeks because of undisclosed liabilities of about 300 billion yen, or $2.7 billion.

The source claimed that Sharp's elite hadn't seen the list, and hadn't intended to share it with Foxconn. The given liabilities in the study were also much higher than any contingent liabilities actually requiring disclosure, the person said.

In an official statement on Monday, Sharp remarked that there was no deadline for a deal, which it wanted to seal "as soon as possible."

Acquiring Sharp could further fortify Foxconn's relationship with Apple, allowing it to sell displays to the iPhone maker as well as assembly services. That in turn could allow Foxconn to raise its prices, something Apple might be willing to accept for the convenience and the ability to distance itself from the display unit of its main rival, Samsung.