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TPK bows out of consortium interested in Japan Display stake

2019/06/18 14:34:28

Taipei, June 18 (CNA) TPK Holding Co., a Taiwan-listed touch panel maker, has decided to bow out of a consortium that was planning to acquire an almost 50 percent stake in Japan Display Inc. (JDI).

In a statement filed Monday with the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE), where TPK shares are traded, the touch panel maker said it had decided to pull out of the consortium and the JDI investment plan because of the fast changing market.

TPK said it could not disclose further details about the decision, however, because the consortium signed a non-disclosure agreement with JDI.

In April, TPK announced it would team up with China-based Harvest Tech Investment Management Co., and Cosgrove Global Ltd. and Topnotch Corp., the two Taiwanese firms company owned by the Fubon Group's Tsai family to a joint venture by investing up to US$230 million.

Under the original plan, TPK, Harvest and the Tsai family would go through the joint venture to participate in a private placement launched by JDI to raise its paid-in capital to take a 49.82- percent stake in the Japanese flat panel maker.

Since April's announcement, TPK had said negotiations on the JDI investment were underway and due diligence was still proceeding before it issued Monday's statement saying it was pulling out.

The Tsai family had not commented on the decision as of early Tuesday afternoon, but local media reported it was also no longer likely to invest in the project.

The reports indicated that the Chinese member in the consortium remained interested in JDI and hoped to bring in other investors.

While TPK, a Cayman Islands registered company founded by Chairman Michael Chao-juei Chiang (江朝瑞), a Taiwanese, offered few details on the move, sources told CNA that the decision came after it took into account JDI's heavier than expected debt.

TPK's plan to invest in JDI was aimed at helping the company integrate its upstream, mid-stream and downstream touch panel production resources to create synergies leading to technology upgrades and better service to customers.

In a research note, market information advisory firm IHS Markit said in April that TPK's investment in JDI was expected to help the Taiwanese suitor secure orders from Apple Inc. for production of the Apple Watch.

(By Wei Shu and Frances Huang)