Sharp in talks to sell Sakai solar cell plant: media

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 15, 2012 8:44 PM
Sharp in talks to sell Sakai solar cell plant: media

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Sharp Corp has entered talks with an overseas manufacturer to negotiate the sale of its key solar cell factory in western Japan, Japanese media said on Thursday, as the prospect of deep losses forces it to look for cash injections.

Sharp is seeking a more than 100 billion yen ($1.27 billion) improvement on its balance sheet from the sale of the plant located in Sakai, Osaka prefecture, and has started the process of selling some of its offices in Tokyo, the Yomiuri daily reported.

The company, which makes screens for Apple Inc's iPad and iPhone, needs to refinance 360 billion yen of short-term commercial paper and will need a further 200 billion yen in September next year to cover a maturing convertible bond.

Sharp representatives could not immediately be reached for comment. Its offices were closed for a summer holiday.

Earlier this month, Sharp cut its annual earnings forecast to an operating loss of 100 billion yen as the Aquos TV maker, along with local rivals Sony Corp and Panasonic Corp, confronts a slump in sales of TV sets while nimbler competitors such as Samsung Electronics Co gain market share.

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Worries over Sharp's balance sheet sent shares of the LCD TV maker tumbling as much as 15 percent on Wednesday to their lowest in almost 37 years. They matched that low, at 164 yen, again on Thursday before stabilizing.

The company is also renegotiating a planned investment by Taiwanese contract electronics manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Ind., which was agreed to in March.

($1 = 78.8600 Japanese yen)

(Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim and James Topham; Editing by Edmund Klamann)