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Foxconn master fails to sink teeth into tasty Sharp stake

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The deadline for Foxconn daddy Hon Hai to come up with a new deal for a stake in wheezing monitor biz Sharp has passed without the companies coming to any arrangement.

Hon Hai was in talks to take as much as 9.9 per cent of the Japanese firm and a deal was first signed this time last year for ¥66.9bn ($806m, £507m). But the agreement fell through when Sharp's shares slumped after it reported whopping quarterly losses.

Apple hardware supplier Hon Hai kept up negotiations with Sharp but the talks fell through because the bigger biz reportedly wanted too much management control.

Sharp has since struck deals with Samsung and Qualcomm, which should be enough to keep the troubled firm rumbling along for now.

Meanwhile, Foxconn reported record quarterly profits of NT$37bn ($1.2bn; £814m) for the last quarter of 2012 along with a 16 per cent year-on-year lift in full-year profit to NT$94.8bn.

Although the firm doesn't admit to it, Apple is estimated to be one of its biggest clients - the iPhone maker gives Foxconn nearly half of its total revenue - so a lift for Foxconn usually comes along with a boost in Apple product orders.

Of course, that means the converse is also true; if, as some have started to wonder, Apple's iDevice mega-world-domination-march is finally slowing, it will have a knock-on effect on Foxconn earnings. ®

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