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Sharp-Foxconn Deal Imperiled by Hidden Liabilities

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Feb 26, 2016, 8:32 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   @zeman_e

Foxconn was on the verge of buying troubled Sharp when the deal met a roadblock at the last minute. Sharp disclosed more than $3.1 billion in liabilities (debt, tax claims, and intellectual property damages) that threw the negotiations into disarray, according to sources cited by the Wall Street Journal. The entire value of the deal was $6.1 billion so the $3.1 billon in liabilities is a significant financial factor for Foxconn to consider. Sharp, however, contradicted the Journal's story and said all liabilities were presented in accordance with proper accounting practices. Either way, the deal is on the brink of collapse. Sharp has seen dwindling fortunes for years. It has accepted cash infusions from Samsung and others to continue operations. News that the sale to Foxconn may be deep-sixed cause a sharp fall in Sharp's stock price during trading Friday. Foxconn said it is committed to making a deal, but now needs more time to consider Sharp's financial position.

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