Sharp shares up on Intel deal report

US chipmaker set to be biggest shareholder in leading maker of liquid-crystal displays

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 November, 2012, 6:57am


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Shares in Sharp, Japan's largest maker of liquid-crystal displays, rose the most in more than two months in Tokyo after Kyodo News said the company was in final talks to sell a stake to Intel.

The shares jumped as much as 11 per cent, headed for the biggest gain since September 4, before ending the day 7.2 per cent higher. The Nikkei-225 Index edged up 0.04 per cent.

Sharp is seeking between 30 billion yen (HK$29.1 billion) and 40 billion yen, which would make Intel its top shareholder, Kyodo reported late yesterday.

A capital alliance with a prominent US company might help Sharp's renegotiation with Foxconn Technology over a share sale, Kyodo said.

Sharp has been unable to settle a proposed deal with Foxconn, after initially agreeing to sell a 9.9 per cent stake to the Taipei-based company in March, as the Japanese electronics maker's shares have dived 76 per cent this year,

"The report is easing some concerns about Sharp," said Mitsuo Shimizu, a Tokyo-based analyst at Iwai Cosmo. "Still, the rally will be short-lived, as the money isn't enough to solve Sharp's problems."

Sharp was not the source of information for the report, and nothing had been decided, the company said yesterday. Chuck Malloy, a spokesman for Intel, declined to comment.

The Japanese company might also get an investment from Qualcomm, Kyodo said.

Sharp agreed in March to sell a 9.9 per cent stake through new shares to Foxconn, the assembler of Apple's iPhones, for 67 billion yen. An earnings forecast revision by Sharp in August caused its share price to plunge, prompting a renegotiation.

Sharp assumed a deal with Foxconn could be reached, president Takashi Okuda said earlier this month.

The Japanese company revised its earnings forecast on November 1 and now estimates a record 450 billion yen loss for the year to March as it faces falling demand and prices for LCD panels, a strong yen and competition from Samsung Electronics.

It haemorrhaged 103 billion yen in cash from operations in the first half of the year and said earlier this month that there was "material doubt" about its ability to stay in business.