UPDATE 1-Sharp to raise equity, board decision next week-sources

TOKYO, Sept 12 Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:01pm EDT

TOKYO, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Japan's Sharp Corp is planning to raise as much as 15 billion yen ($150 million) through a public share offering as the TV maker and display maker aims to bolster its finances, and could approve the decision as early as next week, sources with knowledge of the decision told Reuters.

At the same time, the company could raise approximately 20 billion yen ($200 million) in a third-party share allocation, according to a financing plan that has been shared with creditors.

Sharp is expected to decide on the steps at a board meeting scheduled as early as next week, according to the sources who asked not to be identified.

Sharp had no immediate comment.

The Osaka-based company, which supplies display panels to Apple Inc, received a $4.6 billion rescue from banks last year and has since received investments from Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Qualcomm Inc.

The third-party share placement will be made to companies that have deep business ties to Sharp, including Lixil Group , Makita Corp and Denso Corp, according to the sources.

Sharp has been working with its main banks over plans to increase its equity capital and reduce its relative level of indebtedness for months. Sharp has said it was considering a wide range of options.

The company faces tough price competition in the market for LCD panels. In addition, Sharp needs to raise funding to address an expected 120 billion shortfall in its corporate pension plan it is projected to face by March.

Sharp expects to post an operating profit in the quarter ending in September, which would be its fourth quarterly profit on that basis.

Sharp had been in talks with Samsung about an expanded business tie-up and additional investment but those talks broke down last month, people with knowledge of the discussions have said.

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