Indian Conglomerate Tata Nears Deal For Majority Ownership In iPhone Plant In Country

  • Tata Group neared takeover of a major Apple Inc AAPL iPhone plant in southern India in a deal likely to give the country its first homegrown iPhone maker.
  • The airline-to-software conglomerate discussed with the factory’s owner, Taiwan’s Wistron Corp WICOF, for months and aimed to complete the purchase by March, Bloomberg reports.
  • The talks have now centered on Tata owning a majority of the joint venture.
  • Tata will likely oversee the main manufacturing operation, with support from Wistron.
  • Taiwanese manufacturing giants like Wistron and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd HNHPF Foxconn Technology Group were the main assembler of the iPhones.
  • The Indian conglomerate aims to complete a due diligence process by March 31, so Tata Electronics’ arm can formally take over Wistron’s position in a program that wins government incentives.
  • The acquisition could value Wistron’s only iPhone manufacturing operation in India at over $600 million.
  • Wistron’s 2.2 million square-foot factory stands just over 30 miles (50 kilometers) east of Bangalore. 
  • If the acquisition goes through, Tata will take over all its eight iPhone lines. Wistron would continue as a service partner for iPhones in India.
  • Tata also looked to launch 100 Apple stores in the country of 1.4 billion, the first of which will likely open in Mumbai this quarter.
  • Tata Chair Natarajan Chandrasekaran shared the group’s plan to enter chipmaking as it accelerated efforts to make the conglomerate more tech-centric.
  • Tata’s deal would advance India’s efforts to create local contenders to challenge China’s dominance in electronics, already jeopardized by political tensions with the U.S. and Covid-related hurdles.
  • Price Action: AAPL shares closed higher by 0.41% at $130.15 on Monday.
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