Fri, Sep 13, 2013 - Page 13 News List

Sharp Corp mulls public share sale, allotment: reports

Bloomberg

Sharp Corp may announce a public share sale and third-party allotment to bolster its balance sheet as early as next week, according to Japanese media reports.

The company plans to raise as much as ¥200 billion (US$2 billion), with up to ¥10 billion each of stock to be sold to Makita Corp, Denso Corp and Lixil Group Corp, the Yomiuri Shimbun said, without attribution. The share sale may be worth ¥170 billion next week, Kyodo news agency reported.

Sharp is trying to rebuild its balance sheet after intensifying competition in LCD and flat-panel televisions drove it to consecutive losses totaling ¥921 billion in the past two financial years. The 100-year-old company, which supplies screens for Apple Inc’s iPads and iPhones, has raised funds since last year through minority stake sales to Samsung Electronics Co and Qualcomm Inc.

“Sharp is considering raising money through a public offering and is in negotiations for third-party allocation, but nothing has been decided,” said Hiroshi Takenami, a spokesman for the Osaka-based company.

Sharp shares fell 6 percent to ¥363 as of 1:20pm in Tokyo, headed for their biggest drop since July 29.

Sharp last month delayed a plan to raise about ¥100 billion from public and private share sales because of concerns about the company’s growth prospects, two people with knowledge of the matter said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.

Last month, Sharp reported a net loss of ¥18 billion in the three months ended June, narrower than the ¥138 billion loss a year earlier. Its ratio of equity to total assets was 6 percent at the end of the period.

Operating profit totaled ¥3 billion for the quarter, compared with a loss of ¥94 billion the previous year, the company said. Sales rose 33 percent to ¥608 billion.

Sharp is forecasting net income of ¥5 billion for the year to March next year, its first annual profit in three years.

The company sold a stake in its largest LCD plant to Taiwanese billionaire Terry Gou (郭台銘) last year.

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