Troubled Japanese tech giant Sharp is reportedly looking to sell more than $1.2 billion in assets, including a key solar panel plant in its native Japan.
A report from the Daily Yomiuri [via Reuters] claims that the company is already in negotiations with an overseas bidder as it looks to sell off assets to a number of refinancing initiatives. However, it is thought that the sale will not be straightforward since more cost effective options exist overseas.
Sharp is not disclosing specific details, but a spokesperson did tell Reuters that it is assessing the situation:
It is true that we are considering a number of options, and we will announce these when a decision has been made.
An undisclosed company source provided further details, telling Reuters that the firm may also look to sell buildings in Tokyo and production plants in Poland, Malaysia, Mexico and Poland to help raise funds.
Earlier this month, the company reported disappointing quarterly results which came with news that 5,000 jobs would be shed. That saw its share price nosedive, which prompted further concerns as Hon Hai (the parent company to high profile manufacturer Foxconn) announced that it would seek to renegotiate a deal to invest in the struggling Japanese firm.
The value of that investment, which was reported at $844 million for an 11 percent share in Sharp, may drop by one-third, said the source.
Hon Hai is awaiting the approval of Taiwanese authorities for the investment, which officers initially labelled as “somewhat pricey.” Hon Hai was requested to provide further information before the deal will be assessed.
The investment is seen as being particularly crucial to Apple, as well as Sharp, since both companies are key suppliers who are likely to be developing parts of the rumoured upcoming next iPhone.
With the device tipped to be unveiled in September, the investment will strengthen Sharp and help ensure that Apple’s iPhone supplies remain constant in the face of what’s likely to be intense demand for the device.
Image via Flickr / Steve Snodgrass