Apple is reportedly ready to cough up as much as $479 million for a Renesas Electronics' 55 percent stake of Renesas SP Drivers, a joint venture that produces chips used to increase the performance of LCD displays, ranging from power efficiency, to sharpness, the news outlet explained. Apple relies entirely on Renesas SP Drivers for the LCD chips, so it stands to make money in the long haul, if the deal goes through, by essentially cutting out the middle man.
Apple's stake would allow it to fully control the development of the chips, which are typically used in smartphones. Renenas SP Drivers, a profitable company, is owned by Powerchip, Sharp and Renesas Electronics. Nikkei said Sharp may also be willing to part with its 25-percent share in the joint venture, giving Apple about 80 percent ownership and leaving the remaining 20 percent in the hands of Powerchip.
Nikkei said that the deal could close as soon as this summer, ahead of the launch of Apple's iPhone 6 which is anticipated in September. The news outlet surmised that most of the 240 workers employed by Renesas SP Drivers will likely hang on to their jobs after the deal closes. Apple has not yet confirmed its intentions to acquire the Japanese firm.