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Struggling Apple supplier Japan Display looks to raise $990M as it moves into OLED

An Apple supplier, Japan Display, announced on Monday that it's seeking to raise up to $990 million in new financing as it looks to cope with Apple's switch from LCD iPhones to OLED.

The LCD-based iPhone XR.

The LCD-based iPhone XR.


Most of that, about $720 million, should come through external stocks and bonds via an agreement that could conclude by April 5, Reuters said. Earlier rumors pointed to a group led by China Silkroad Investment Capital.

The rest of the money will come through preferred shares to refinance existing debt, held by the existing largest shareholder, INCJ. That firm is backed by the Japanese government.

Japan Display has needed multiple cash infusions in the past, including ones in 2016 and 2018, the latter to secure orders for the iPhone XR. The company is facing intense competition from display makers in China and Korea and has been slow to switch from LCD to OLED.

Apple began its transition with 2017's iPhone X. The iPhone XS and XS Max both use OLED, and it's thought that the iPhone line will go all-OLED by 2020.

Compounding Japan Display's problems are weak iPhone sales. The XR is believed to be the bestselling model at the moment, but Apple may not resume overall iPhone growth until 2019 models ship this fall.