Japan Display aims to clinch $468 million in funding by the end of this month

Japan Display’s bailout plan got slightly derailed following the withdrawal of Harvest Group, a Chinese investment firm from the bailout consortium.

Following a sudden withdrawal of a Chinese investor group from its bailout plan, Japan Display Inc, an Apple Inc supplier stated, it aims to clinch a deal for least $468 million (50 billion yen) by the end of October 2019.

In an interview, Japan Display’s new Chief Executive Officer, Minoru Kikuoka stated demand for liquid crystal display (LCD) screens are once again starting to grow with consumers preferring more affordable smartphones with low-cost screens.

“We are close to 50 billion and I believe we can cement the deal this month,” said Kikuoka.

If Japan Display manages to clinch this funding deal, it would immediately lower the risks of a cash shortfall.

Last month, Chinese investment firm Harvest Group withdrew from the consortium of investors who were to bail out Japan Display.

According to the Japanese company, Oasis Management, a Hong Kong-based company still plans on contributing $150-180 million while Apple intends to invest $200 million.

In the last five years, with the display market moving to organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology, the demand for LCD displays had come down sharply. The market shift also cost Japan Display its order from Apple. As of the last financial year, Cupertino accounted for 60.6% of Japan Display’s revenues.

Confirming a renewed interesr in low cost display screen, Kikuoka stated, orders for LCD screens from a major customer have been “stronger than previously planned”.

Kikuoka’s comments comes in the wake of a recent report from the Nikkei Asian Review stating that Apple has asked suppliers to increase the production of its iPhone 11 models by around 10%.

Kikuoka went on to add, Japan Display has also commenced the production of OLED screens.

According to sources, Japan Display will produce OLED screens for the Apple Watch this year.

When asked about the mass-production of OLED panels for smartphones, Kikuoka said, Japan Display is seeking business partners and aims to avoid excess capacity.

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