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经济学人:丛林法则 夏普和鸿海交易陷入困局

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Business.

商业。
Sharp and Hon Hai.
夏普和鸿海。
Law of the jungle.
丛林法则。
A deal between a Chinese firm and a Japanese tech giant hits trouble.
一家中国企业和日本科技巨头的交易陷入困局。
"AS HUMAN beings are also animals, to manage one million animals gives me a headache." So declared Terry Guo, the chairman of Taiwan's Hon Hai, earlier this year. His firm's Foxconn division is China's biggest contract manufacturer and makes most of Apple's whizzy devices. He has since apologised for his remarks and insisted they were taken out of context. Perhaps they were, but fresh signs emerged this week that he does indeed believe in the law of the jungle.
"富士康拥有超过1百万员工,人类也是动物,如何管理这100万动物让我很头疼",这是今年年初鸿海集团主席郭台铭曾发表的言论。他旗下的子公司富士康是中国最大的合同制造商,并为苹果公司供应了最多的先进配件装置。后来他为此番"员工动物论"出面道歉同时坚称媒体的报道是断章取义。或许关于此事的报道是有失偏颇,但从这周的最新迹象可以看出的是,他确实信奉"丛林法则" 。
Mr Guo made a splash in March when he announced an unusual deal with Sharp, an ailing Japanese technology giant. Hon Hai and Foxconn Technology, an affiliate, said they would invest over $1.6 billion in Sharp in return for around a tenth of the company. Sharp, hit badly by the downturn in the market for flat-screen devices, needed the cash. Hon Hai was keen to get the inside track to advanced glass technology (used in iPhone displays, for example) much valued by Apple, its main customer. Both sides trumpeted this as a done deal.
今年3月郭台铭宣布了和困境中的日本科技巨头夏普公司的合作而一石惊起千层浪 。他的鸿海集团及旗下的富士康科技集团宣称他们会耗资超过16亿美元收购夏普约 10%的股份。因液晶平板设备行业衰落而遭遇重创的夏普现在急需现金流。而鸿海又急切希望能在有利平台上改进镜面板工艺技术(如在Iphone手机上的显示应用),这是它最大客户苹果公司最看中的价值。当时双方都表示这样的合作会是板上钉钉的事.
Alas, a deal is not always a deal in the corporate jungle. The Japanese firm's share price has fallen by some two-thirds since March, when the two firms shook hands. Sharp's investors believed that Hon Hai had thrown the firm a reliable lifeline. But Mr Guo's investors were rather less pleased. The ill-timed deal would, by one estimate, mean Hon Hai having to write down the value of its investment by NT$12 billion ($400m) this year.
可惜,在企业竞争中风云变幻,"交易"往往并不容"易"成"交"。自今年三月两家公司握手言欢以来,夏普公司的股价已经下跌了三分之二。夏普的投资者庆幸鸿海当初扔出了一根结实的救命稻草,但郭台铭公司的投资者并不那么高兴。据估计,这桩时机不好的交易会让鸿海今年损失120亿新台币约合4亿美元。
The bombshell hit on August 3rd, a day when Sharp's shares fell by 28% on news of an anticipated loss of $1.2 billion in the second quarter. Hon Hai said the two firms had agreed that "due to the current price volatility of Sharp shares, Foxconn will not be required to fulfil its subscription obligations." Alas, that news seemed to surprise Sharp, which put out a terse note saying no revision had been agreed.
8月3日,因夏普第二季度预计亏损12亿美元的新闻公布,夏普股价应声暴跌了28%。鸿海方面表示由于夏普股价大跌,双方已经达成共识,富士康可以不用按之前商议的价格履行认购义务。但是,鸿海的这个说法显然让夏普有些意外,后者随后简要表示双方并没有要重新议价。
What is going on? Kirk Yang of Barclays Capital, a bank, reckons it unlikely that Sharp will force Hon Hai to honour its original deal. He thinks the likely outcome is for Hon Hai to take a 9.9% stake in Sharp but at a price closer to ¥200-300 ($2.50-3.80) rather than ¥550, where the shares stood when the deal was agreed in March. Others speculate that a reworked deal may give his firm a bigger stake in Sharp.
到底发生了什么?巴克莱资本投行的分析师杨应超(Kirk Yang)认为夏普不太可能逼迫鸿海按初期(股价大跌前)约定的价格履行交易。他认为比较可能的结果是鸿海按每股近200-300日元(2.5-3.8美元)收购夏普9.9%的股份,而不是按3月和夏普谈定交易时每股500日元的价格。其他机构揣测这桩要重新商谈的交易也有可能会夏普在总收购价不变的前提下多送一些股份给鸿海。
That might seem like good news for Hon Hai. If Mr Guo does not pour all the cash he has promised into Sharp, his investors would be relieved. The contradictory statements this week may simply be a result of Sharp's internal bureaucracy moving more slowly than the dynamic Mr Guo, in which case the Japanese company may well confirm a revised deal shortly.
对于鸿海来说这看上去是个好消息。如果郭台铭可以不按之前承诺给夏普的价格去兑现入股,他的投资者会着实松一口气。双方在本周截然不同的表态也可能仅仅是因为内部官僚作风的夏普没有灵敏的郭先生对市场的反应快罢了,随后夏普可能就会很快确认重议交易。
Still, there is reason to think this might prove a Pyrrhic victory for Hon Hai. After all, it would still be saddled with a stake in a debt-laden firm with diminishing prospects. By withdrawing a much-needed lifeline, it might well be propelling Sharp towards eventual bankruptcy. Mr Guo surely knows that in the jungle, mistakes can prove fatal.
不过,虽然如此,鸿海集团这样的胜利也可能只是皮洛士式的惨胜。毕竟它将要背负起的是一个负债累累前景又更凄风冷雨的公司。如果撤出这救命稻草一般的注资,它可能会加剧夏普走向破产。郭台铭很清楚在弱肉强食竞争激烈的丛林中,任何一点失误都会是致命的。

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