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Sharp Buys Toshiba PC Business For $36M Uncertainty Over OZ Business

Toshiba PC’s have finally been sold to Sharp for a mere US$36m, what is not known at this stage is what will happen to the Toshiba’s Australian PC business.

The first Company in the world to commercialize laptop computers in 1985, Toshiba is today a broken Company due to poor management and scandal.

The Australian operation that was forced to get out of both the consumer PC and TV business due to a lack of competitiveness have struggled for several years.

Sharp which is now owned by Taiwanese Company Foxconn has purchased 80.1% stake in a business that once dominated the mobile PC business.

Sharp is currently expanding its consumer goods line up because Foxconn wants to establish itself in branded electronic products spanning appliances, TV’s and PC’s. Earlier this week Toshiba was forced to sell their highly successful semiconductor business to Symantec and Bain Capital.

Scandal and mismanagement have pushed Toshiba to shed many of its money-losing consumer businesses as well as more profitable units to raise funds.

It has sold its television business to Hisense and its medical-equipment business to Canon.

Last week, Toshiba completed the sale of its main profit centre, its flash-memory semiconductor business, to a consortium led by U.S. private-equity firm Bain Capital, although Toshiba will retain a 40% stake.

Toshiba executives have said they would focus on goods and services for enterprises such as management of power lines and water-treatment systems.

The Wall Street Journal said that Taiwanese tycoon Terry Gou, head of Sharp parent Foxconn, has long wanted to pursue premium consumer goods with an established brand such as Sharp because profits are thin at Foxconn’s assembly business.

Under the leadership of Tai Jeng-wu, Mr. Gou’s right-hand man, Sharp returned to profitability in the year ended in March and sales rose 18%. It has expanded its line-up of televisions and smartphones, areas from which many Japanese companies have withdrawn because of intense competition from China.

Sharp quit selling its Mebius-branded computers in 2010. Mr. Tai has said he wants to get back into the business because he wants to link consumer goods such as PCs, smartphones and refrigerators in a network where they talk to each other. One example would be a smartphone using artificial intelligence to suggest a dinner recipe based on what’s in the refrigerator.

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