Japan's Sharp Corp extends reforms with plans for asset sales

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Jan 06, 2014 08:03 AM EST

Sharp Corp intends to divest of assets like plants and stock holdings to improve its capital as it continues the reforms it had started last year, Bloomberg reported. Sharp Corp supplies displays for the iPhones and iPads of Apple Inc.

Sharp President Kozo Takahashi told reporters that Sharp will also continue to look for partners that will purchase a stake in the company. The display supplier is following through the reforms it had unveiled in May last year and hopes that it will be able to get better prices after it had improved its financial standing when it unveiled its first public equity offering since 1979, the report said.

Takahashi was quoted as saying, "Our structural reform isn't over yet. We have idle facilities and stock holdings that can be cashed out to boost our capital base."

Sharp was able to record a profit in the quarter that ended in September. This was the first time that Sharp returned to profit since 2011. The company was able to benefit from the growing demand for solar panels in Japan. Sharp's liquid-crystal display unit also became profitable in the same period due to increasing sales for the device after the company sold shares to Samsung Electronics Co and other potential LCD buyers, the report said.

Takahashi added that there is a good possibility that Sharp will be able to meet its goal of lowering fixed costs by up to JPY 150 billion or $1.4 billion in the year that that will end this March.

Takahashi said, "We still haven't sold a plant in Mexico as we had planned but our reform is about 90 percent done."

Last month Kyodo News agency reported that Sharp is expected to begin negotiations early in 2014 for the sale of Recurrent Energy, a transaction that is estimated to give the company JPY 20 billion or $191 million.

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