Japan Display Inc (JDI), Apple’s display panel supplier, today announced a formal deal with asset management firm Ichigo Asset Management to secure up to 100.8 billion yen ($918.87 million) in bailout funds. JDI has been relying on public money to survive for a long time. As a result, analysts say the rescue deal is crucial for JDI.
Upon completion of the deal, Ichigo will effectively control JDI, acquiring a 44.26 per cent stake, replacing the Japanese government-funded Japan Industrial Innovation Agency (INCJ) as JDI’s largest shareholder.
Before Ichigo invested in JDI, Apple had said it would support JDI financially. Apple’s commitment has given confidence to other potential investors, people familiar with the matter said. Apple is understood to have agreed to shorten the payment deadline and invest $200m in JDI.
In fact, JDI said in December that it would receive up to Y90bn ($830m) in funding from Ichigo, a Japanese asset manager. Under the plan, Ichigo would join forces with Apple and Taiwan’s factory manufacturer, Wistron, to rescue the embattled JDI.
It comes after Chinese investor Harvest Fund and TPK Holding, a Taiwanese touch panel maker, had been interested in investing Y80bn ($4.8bn) in JDI, but abandoned their investment plans at the end of September.
JDI supplies LCD panels mainly to Apple, and about 60% of JDI’s revenue comes from Apple.