Sharp to raise $313 million in bank loans

The ailing television set maker is set to raise 30 billion yen to shore up its financing this week.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Sharp will receive 30 billion yen ($313 million) this week from various banks in order to try and keep the ailing firm afloat.

sharp receive loan banks japan

Citing sources familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports that three banks will finance the loan, Resona Bank Ltd., Mizuho Trust & Banking Co. and Mitsubishi UFJ Trust & Banking Corporation. According to the anonymous sources, each bank will lend the Japanese company 10 billion yen.

The electronics maker's main lenders, Mizuho Corporate Bank and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ have already set up a 360 billion-yen syndicated loan which will mature in summer this year, and the new loan agreements will join this venture to maintain Sharp's survival.

The Japanese firm's financial state has resulted in the possibility of job cuts, the instigation of early retirement programs in its native country, and also forced the company to reach out to third parties for investment and help.

South Korean firm Samsung, although unsuccessful in its bid to buy Sharp's printer business, has agreed to invest 10.4bn yen ($112m) for a three percent stake in the television set maker, and it appears that this move is strategically placed in order to protect the liquid-crystal display panel lines that Sharp produces and Samsung uses in its tablet and smartphone product lines.

U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm has also agreed to help the struggling firm out, by forging a partnership in order to jointly develop LCD panels, as well as hand over $120 million to Sharp.

In addition, the LCD panel maker has previously attempted to secure financing from Hon Hai Precision Industry -- otherwise known as Foxconn -- where an initial agreement considered in March 2012 would allow Foxconn to purchase a 9.9 percent stake for 550 yen a share. However, as Sharp's stocks continued to slide with little hope of recovery, the deal was pulled off the table.

Takao Matsuzaka, a Tokyo-based credit analyst at Daiwa Securities Co. told the publication:

"It can be interpreted as a sign of a more supportive stance by lenders. The collaboration on panels between Samsung and Sharp may have enhanced Sharp’s reputation among lenders."

Ending March 2012, Sharp posted a net loss of 376 billion yen, and has forecast a 450 billion yen loss for the financial year ending March 31. In Q2, Sharp suffered an operating loss of $936 million, losing an additional $560 million based on operating costs a year earlier.

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