Apple Supplier Japan Display to Receive $830 Million Funding From Asset Manager Ichigo

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Apple supplier Japan Display said on Thursday it plans to receive up to JPY 90 billion ($830 million) in financial support from Japanese asset manager Ichigo Asset Management. Ichigo will join Apple and Taiwanese contract electronics manufacturer Wistron in bailing out the advanced liquid crystal display (LCD) maker. Apple’s commitment to financially support Japan Display has reassured potential investors, two sources with direct knowledge of the talks told Reuters.

“It’s a vote of confidence,” one of them said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

Apple, which sources LCD panels for iPhones from Japan Display, has agreed to shorten payment periods and to put up $200 million. The US tech giant has rarely intervened to help distressed suppliers.

It will soon use organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens from Japan Display for the Apple Watch, diversifying supplies currently dependent on LG Display.

Japan Display has been losing money for the past five years because of its late shift to OLED and a slowing smartphone market. Last month, it reported its 11th consecutive quarterly loss.

Bailout talks repeatedly derailed as Chinese investment firm Harvest and several other potential investors pulled out of the plan.

Japan Display was formed in 2012 when the liquid-crystal display businesses of Hitachi, Toshiba, and Sony merged in a government-brokered deal.

The company came under scrutiny last month after it began a review of past earnings reports following revelations that an executive, who was fired last year, had embezzled about $5 million.

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