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(Reuters) - Japan's Sharp Corp (6753.T) plans to sell its copiers and air conditioners businesses to focus on mobile phones and consumer electronics, the Nikkei business daily reported.

Kyocera Corp. (6971.T), Daiwa House Industry Co. (1925.T) and Daikin Industries Ltd. (6367.T) are among the companies that have reportedly expressed interest in buying these businesses, the newspaper reported.

Sharp is in talks to sell its key solar panel plant in Japan as part of an asset sale seeking more than $1.2 billion, local media said on Thursday.

The company is also mulling the sale of assets including its buildings in Tokyo as well as television assembly plants in Poland, Malaysia, Mexico and Poland, a company source told Reuters, confirming recent media reports.

Sharp, which makes screens for Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) iPad and iPhone, may also stop assembling TVs in Japan, Nikkei said.

(Reporting by Balaji Sridharan in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane)
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DAIWA HOUSE INDUSTRY CO., LTD. is a Japan-based construction company engaged in eight business segments. The Housing segment is involved in the contract work and sale of houses. The Leasing Housing segment develops, constructs and manages leasing houses, and provides agency services. The Condominium Building segment develops, sells and manages condominium buildings. The Housing Stock segment is engaged in the contract work of building reconstruction and the agency of real estate trading. The Commercial Facility segment develops, constructs, manages and operates commercial facilities. The Business Facility segment develops and constructs logistic, healthcare facilities. The Health and Leisure segment manages and operates resort hotels, golf courses, fitness clubs and health care facilities. The Others segment is engaged in the construction support, urban hotel and overseas businesses, among others. On August 31, 2011, the Company sold 100% stake in a Chiyoda-based company.
DAIKIN INDUSTRIES, LTD. is a manufacturing company has three business segments. The Air Conditioning and Freezer segment manufactures and sells housing equipment, such as air conditioning, air purifiers and water boilers; commercial equipment, including package/spot air conditioning, water chilling units and turbo refrigerators; marine equipment, such as marine container air conditioning and ship freezers. The Chemical segment supplies fluorocarbon gases, fluorine resins, chemical products and chemical engineering machines. The Others segment manufactures and sells hydraulic equipment and machinery for industrial and construction machinery use, database systems for research development and information technology (IT) network monitoring systems, among others.
Somewhere near last....

However, I just picked up this press release from Rueters also:

Sharp seeking over $1.2 bln for plant and other assets -Yomiuri

* Sharp also in talks to sell some Tokyo offices -Yomiuri

* Sharp will struggle to find buyer for solar business-source

By Reiji Murai and Tim Kelly

TOKYO, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Cash-strapped Sharp Corp is in talks to sell its key solar panel plant in Japan as part of an asset sale seeking more than $1.2 billion, local media said on Thursday, but it may struggle to woo buyers as high costs force the industry offshore, a source close to the company said.

Desperate for funds to refinance looming debt rollovers, Sharp is seeking more than 100 billion yen ($1.27 billion) for the plant in Sakai, western Japan, and by offloading office buildings in Tokyo, the Yomiuri daily reported.

"It is true that we are considering a number of options, and we will announce these when a decision has been made," Sharp spokeswoman Miyuki Nakayama said.

The company, which makes screens for Apple Inc's iPad and iPhone, needs to refinance as much as 360 billion yen of short-term commercial paper and will need a further 200 billion yen in September next year to cover a maturing convertible bond.

Sakai is also the site of its advanced liquid crystal display plant, almost half of which it has sold to Taiwanese partner Hon Hai Precision in a bid to reduce its exposure to losses at the underutilised facility.

While Sakai offers Hon Hai access to the world's most advanced LCD manufacturing processes, Sharp's solar plant offers little technological edge over offshore sites where wage levels are lower and currency exchange rates are more favourable.


Sharp is mulling the sale of assets including its buildings in Tokyo as well as television assembly plants in Poland, Malaysia, Mexico and Poland, the company source told Reuters, confirming recent media reports.

The source did not confirm whether Sharp was in talks on its Japanese solar plant, but said it would be difficult to find a buyer.

Mirroring the demise of Japan's television industry at the hands of Korean rivals such as Samsung Electronics, the nation's leading solar panel makers, Sharp, Panasonic Corp and Kyocera Corp, have been eclipsed by Chinese competitors led by Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd , able to match their engineering and undermine their prices.

To cope with the cost handicap of production in Japan, Panasonic is moving its manufacturing abroad, with a new solar panel plant in Malaysia that the company predicts will account for half of its production within three years.

In the three months to June 30, the operating loss at Sharp's solar panel business almost doubled to 6.9 billion yen.

A global oversupply in solar panels also means fabricators are not looking to add new capacity. Amid the industry downturn, Suntech is, like Sharp, struggling to shore up its finances.

On Aug. 2, Sharp widened its overall operating loss forecast for this business year to 100 billion yen.

The Aquos TV maker's shares on Wednesday tumbled as much as 15 percent to their lowest in almost 37 years, as investors worried that Sharp would have to cut its forecast even further, with weaker-than-expected demand for LCD panels for smartphones and tablet PCs adding to its woes in TVs and solar energy.

The average estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters since it released its latest forecast is for an annual operating loss of 131 billion yen in the year to next March.

Its sliding share price is also adding pressure on Sharp to concede ground to partner Hon Hai, which in addition to its investment in its LCD plant also agreed in March to take a 10 percent stake in the company for 550 yen a share, more than three times Wednesday's low of 164 yen.

Following the recent stock drop, Hon Hai has reopened talks to win a better deal that analysts estimate may yield Sharp only about a third of the 67 billion yen it was relying on to help bolster its finances.

That means Sharp may have to resort to selling other assets to make up the shortfall and convince lenders including Mizuho Financial Group and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group to help keep it solvent.

In addition to its fixed assets of factories and offices, Sharp also owns shares in other companies worth around $500 million, including stakes in car navigation maker Pioneer , medical device maker Olympus Corp and flash memory fabricator Toshiba Corp.

Sharp's shares were trading 4.1 percent higher in Tokyo at 176 yen on Thursday, although traders attributed the gain largely to short-sellers covering positions to return shares they had borrowed. Short-sellers have targeted Sharp due to its steep operating losses.

Note from Art:

This release does not mention copiers like the first release, quess we'll have to see how this pans out.
Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America

Sharp Electronics Corporation
One Sharp Plaza • Mahwah, New Jersey 07495-1163 • e-mail: •


August 16, 2012

Dear SIICA Dealers:
As many of you have recently read, Sharp Corporation is in the process of revitalizing our operations in order to be more competitive. While this process takes time, we are moving aggressively to position ourselves for future growth. However, during this period, there is often speculation about what we are going to do. While much of this has centered on other aspects of Sharp’s portfolio, a recent article appeared claiming Sharp was selling its copier business. I want to end any confusion or concerns you may have.

Let us be very clear:

1. Nikkei has released an article based on their own judgment, and the article is speculation. Sharp Corporation has not released nor acknowledged this article.
2. Sharp Corporation is under the process of revitalizing its business and is exploring all options to improve the financial condition of the company.
3. Sharp is not currently negotiating the sale of the businesses, such as Copier and Air-Conditioner that Nikkei has reported in their article.

It is important for you to know that these are the words of our Executive Management in Japan, not simply the opinion of local management. As you can imagine, a public company such as Sharp must be careful not to mislead any investors so they are cautious with their statements.

However, the third point is what is most important for all of us.

As pointed out in numerous articles in the past few weeks, Sharp’s document business is profitable and we are in the process of launching some of our most innovative products and services for our dealer community.

We cannot control the speculation of the press and we cannot control competitors trying to take advantage of the dealer community.

However, the SIICA team will continue to provide you with our support and outstanding products.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your Sales Manager or anyone in the Sharp Team. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Thank you for your continued support.

Doug Albregts
Sharp Imaging and Information Company of AmericaSS
So, what can we take from this?

1. They are worried that current Sharp USA Dealers will jump ship and accelerate Sharp's demise home and abroad.
2. Sharp is not currently negotiating the sale of businesses, well usually when you hear of something this big you can bet your bottom dollar that indeed there is something going on. I'm sure Nikkei would not report or speculate and then state that "Sharp plans to sell......"

For years on the forums, we've heard and found out that most of the speculation becomes fact. There's no doubt Sharp is in trouble, I guess it's going tobe a crap shoot as to what divisions they will embrace and which ones they will disable.
I work for Kyocera and have seen the articles that stimulated this discussion, and the rumors seem to be true. I just received a text message from one of my dealers who happens to be on our premier dealer trip to Europe, that stated "you won't believe this, Kyocera just bought Sharp"! We'll wait and see but we are becoming aggressive in the market as seen by our acquisition of Nevill in Carrollton Texas! Roll Kyocera Roll... we have great products, service and support!

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