TOKYO Jan 17 Sharp Corp may sell its
Chinese TV assembly plant to Lenovo Group as the
cash-strapped Japanese TV maker looks to sell assets to bolster
its finances, sources said.
Sharp is in talks with Lenovo about selling the LCD TV
assembly plant in Nanking and also about tying up with the
Chinese company in its other subsidiaries there, two industry
sources familiar with the discussion told Reuters.
Sharp said in a statement to the Tokyo Stock Exchange that
it had not announced any talks. The talks were first reported in
the Nikkei business daily in Japan.
The maker of Aquos TVs in November said it may not be able
to survive on its own after it doubled its full-year net loss to
$5.6 billion. To repay short-term commercial paper loans and
stave off failure in October it won a $4.4 billion bailout from
Sharp had been in talks to sell its Chinese TV plant to
Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision industry along with an
assembly plant in Mexico. Hon Hai, which is also in talks to buy
a stake in Sharp and earlier bought a share in the Japanese
company's advanced LCD panel plant in Sakai western Japan, may
now buy only the North American facility.
Sharp mortgaged its domestic factories and offices to secure
emergency financing from lenders including Mizuho Financial
Group and Mitsubishi Financial Group, limiting
its ability to raise cash from asset sales.
In December Qualcomm Inc agreed to invest as much
as $120 million in Sharp, giving it a boost in its effort to
remain viable. As part of the agreement Qualcomm, through its
Pixtronix subsidiary, will work with Sharp - which supplies
screens to Apple Inc for its latest iPhone - to develop
new power-saving screens based on Sharp's IGZO technology.
In the second half of its business year ending March 31,
Sharp expects to return to operating profit, allowing the banks
to justify the fresh financing.