May 8, 2019 / 12:13 PM / 12 days ago

Japan's Sharp to return to U.S. TV market, regains brand license

FILE PHOTO: Logos of Sharp Corp are pictured at the CEATEC JAPAN 2017 (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies) at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan, October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

TOKYO (Reuters) - Sharp Corp will re-enter the U.S. TV market later this year, the Japanese electronics company said on Wednesday, adding it had effectively regained the license for its own TV brand sold to China’s Hisense Group four years ago.

The move is part of Sharp’s growth strategy after a dramatic turnaround at the Osaka-based firm since it was taken over by Taiwan’s Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics, in 2016.

Sharp declined to disclose details of the latest licensing arrangement with Hisense. The company is also considering re-entering other markets in the Americas, a source briefed on the matter said.

Sharp cut back its overseas TV business and licensed Hisense to use its brand in the Americas in 2015, when massive losses at its core display panel unit put its survival at risk. It later sued the Chinese state-owned firm for putting the Sharp name on what it said were low-quality TVs.

Its parent Foxconn, formally Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, has pledged to build a display panel plant and tech research facilities in the U.S. states of Wisconsin.

Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Mark Potter

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