The head of Taiwan’s tech giant Foxconn said Thursday its pursuit of Toshiba “is not yet over”, a day after the Japanese firm announced it preferred another group of bidders to acquire its prized chip business.
Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai, is controlled by billionaire Terry Gou and reportedly had Apple as a financial backer in its multi-billion dollar bid for Toshiba’s memory chip unit, seen as crucial for the cash-strapped Japanese firm to turn itself around.
Toshiba said Wednesday it would hold exclusive talks with a consortium of US, South Korean and state-backed Japanese investors, dashing Gou’s ambitions.
But the Foxconn chairman vowed to keep pursuing the acquisition, saying the Taiwanese firm still has a chance.
“The Toshiba case is not yet over. It is very similar to the Sharp deal,” Gou told shareholders at an annual meeting in New Taipei City.
He was referring to his takeover last year of the Japanese electronics firm for $3.7 billion, a move he described as “really worth it.”
Gou is known for his aggressive dealmaking prowess, shown by his dogged determination to acquire Sharp despite concerns over the Japanese firm’s mounting losses.
“We still have a big chance,” he said at Thursday’s meeting of the Toshiba quest, adding there were still “a lot of variables”.
The inclusion of Japanese investors in the selected bidding group by Toshiba will ease reported government concerns about losing a sensitive technology to foreign owners.
But a Foxconn official criticized Japanese authorities for taking a protectionist approach.
“There’s no end to their corporate crisis if they are not able to open up,” said Tai Jeng-wu, who took over as president of Sharp after Foxconn’s buyout.
The Taiwanese firm is the world’s largest contract electronics maker and is best-known for assembling products for international brands such as Apple and Sony.
Gou said earlier this year he was mulling a $7 billion investment to make flat panels in the United States in a joint project with Japan’s Softbank.
He also said Foxconn aimed to increase investment in China this year to try to boost Sharp’s market share in the country.