Sharp Plans to Boost Capital Selling Plants and Stock Holdings

Sharp Corp., the supplier of displays for Apple Inc.’s iPhone and iPad, plans to sell its investments in other companies and factories to extend capital boosting reforms.

Sharp will also continue seeking partners to buy a stake in itself, President Kozo Takahashi told reporters in Osaka yesterday. The company is pursuing reforms announced last May and hopes to fetch higher prices for plants after improving its financial situation following a public equity offering that raised 113.8 billion last year, the first since 1979.

Sharp posted its first quarterly profit since 2011 in the three months ended September as it benefited from rising demand for solar panels in Japan. The company’s liquid-crystal display unit also turned profitable in the period on rising sales after selling shares to potential LCD buyers including Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s biggest TV maker.

“Our structural reform isn’t over yet,” said Takahashi, who is also the company’s chief executive officer. “We have idle facilities and stock holdings that can be cashed out to boost our capital base.”

Takahashi said the company will likely meet its target of reducing fixed costs by 150 billion yen ($1.4 billion) in the year ending March, compared to two years ago, after reducing payroll.

The Osaka-based company is looking to sell a plant in Mexico and reforms are about 90 percent completed, according to Takahashi.

Display Technology

Sharp is counting on its IGZO display technology, which consumes less power than conventional panels, to help boost earnings amid stalling sales of TVs. China’s ZTE Corp. said in November the company will use Sharp’s IGZO displays for a new flagship model.

The Japanese company, which eliminated about 4,000 jobs in the year ended September, will halt production of solar panels at its U.K. plant in Wales because its output isn’t competitive, the company said last month.

The electronics maker is expected to start negotiations early this year to sell Recurrent Energy LLC for about 20 billion yen, Kyodo News agency reported last month.

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