Apple Inc. (AAPL) Said To Be Negotiating Stake In Renesas

If Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) finalize the deal it is supposedly negotiating, it could end up with a controlling stake in Renesas SP Drivers. The company makes the LCD chips which go into the iPhone, so the move could signal that Apple wants to take another part of its manufacturing process in house.

Apple seeks 55% stake

Nikkei reports that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is negotiating with Renesas Electronics Corporation (TYO:6723). Renasas SP Drivers is actually a joint venture between Renasas Electronics, Sharp Corporation (TYO:6753) (OTCMKTS:SHCAY) and Powerchip. According to the report, Apple wants to buy all of Renesas Electronics’ 55% stake in the chip maker at a price of about 50 billion yen.

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For the fiscal year which ended Monday, the Tokyo-based company had profits of around 6 billion yen on sales of 60 billion yen.

Apple could buy Sharp’s stake too

Renesas SP is reportedly the top driver and controller producer in the world for both small and mid-sized LCD displays. The chips determine the quality of the display and also their performance. In addition, they play a role in a smartphone’s energy efficiency, making up for about 10% of battery usage.

Currently Sharp Corporation (TYO:6753) (OTCMKTS:SHCAY) has a 25% stake in the joint venture, while Powerchip has the other 20%. Powerchip takes care of the manufacturing for the chips. According to Nikkei, Sharp could sell all of its stake in the chip maker to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) if the company ends up finalizing a deal to buy all of Renesas Electronics Corporation (TYO:6723)’s stake.

Would be a big deal for Apple

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) uses multiple suppliers for most of its components. However, the company buys all of its iPhone display chips from Renesas SP. As the quality of smartphone displays becomes increasingly important, moving this aspect of the manufacturing in house may make sense for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).

According to Apple Insider, if the company is able to finalize it deal, it would be its biggest acquisition ever. Currently Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s largest acquisition was NeXT, which it bought in 1997 for $404 million. The report from Nikkei indicates that Apple is likely to prevail and that the company expects to close the purchase by the summer.