Sharp officially exited the consumer PC business in 2010, but it's now looking to get back in – just as Toshiba is looking to make an exit. The two companies have announced an agreement through which Sharp will acquire Toshiba's PC business in a deal worth around $36 million (via ZDNet).
According to a statement from Toshiba, Sharp will acquire an 80.1 percent stake in Toshiba Client Solutions (TCS), a subsidiary which oversees Toshibas PC business. Under the agreement, Sharp will pay Toshiba ¥4 billion ($36 million).
The deal is still subject to government approval, but the companies expect to transfer the stock by October 1, 2018, should all go well. Once the deal is done, Toshiba says that TCS will be de-consolidated from Toshiba Group. However, even after the deal is complete, Toshiba says it will continue to "provide brand licensing for PC products and equipment designed, manufactured and sold by TCS."
Toshiba's prospects with its PC business have been bleak for some time. In late 2015, the company announced efforts to streamline the business after the company recorded a $4.5 billion loss, resulting in a loss of 7,800 jobs. The company then said it would continue on producing PCs despite its struggles. Around the same time, Toshiba was rumored to be considering a merger of its PC division with Fujitsu and Vaio, but that ultimately never materialized.
For Sharp, this is a potential step back into the PC market, and it certainly has the backing to make it happen. Foxconn, which has established itself as a manufacturing powerhouse in the tech industry, acquired Sharp and 2016. With branding from Sharp and manufacturing expertise from Foxconn, the two companies could make a run for the consumer PC market.
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