BASIS POINT-Hon Hai boss seeks $654 mln loan for Sharp factory stake buy

Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:24am EST

Nov 15 (Basis Point) - Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd's chairman is lining up a T$19 billion ($654 million) loan for his purchase of a stake in Sharp's 10th-generation liquid crystal display (LCD) plant, said sources with knowledge of the matter.

Chairman Terry Guo is providing a personal guarantee on the loan, the sources said, who declined to be identified as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

A Taiwan investment company owned by Guo will be the borrower on the financing, which is secured and has a tenor of less than five years, said one of the sources.

Earlier this year, Guo agreed to pay a total of 66 billion yen ($817 million) for 1.32 million shares of Sharp Display Products Corp (SDP), representing 36 percent of SDP, which controls the world's only 10th-generation LCD plant in Sakai city, Osaka.

Apart from Guo's personal investment in SDP, Sharp has also agreed with Hon Hai to issue new shares to the group through third-party allotment, according to an announcement by Sharp on March 27. There have been no announcements on the progress of the matter, although Taiwan's local media reported the two parties said they would make a final decision by March 2013.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that US-based Intel Corp and Qualcomm Inc are in talks to jointly invest about 30 billion yen in the debt-stricken Japanese consumer electronics maker. Sharp may reach an agreement as early as the end of this month with Qualcomm, according to the report.

Osaka-based Sharp, which has lost three-quarters of its market value so far in 2012, nearly doubled its forecast full-year net loss to 450 billion yen earlier this month after booking a $1.1 billion restructuring charge in July-September.

In September, Sharp received a guarantee for 360 billion yen in loans from its two main lenders, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Mizuho Corporate Bank.

The loans are enough to sustain the company through its next financial year to March 2014, which includes the redemption of 200 billion yen in convertible bonds next September, Sharp's Chief Financial Officer Tetsuo Onishi said in September.

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