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Sharp holds off on share sale to mull its outlook

Bloomberg

Sharp Corp. may delay a plan to raise about ¥100 billion through public and private share sales amid concern about its growth outlook, two sources said.

The supplier of screens to Apple Inc. is postponing the plan by about two months until November, one of the sources said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. The Osaka-based company needs more time to develop its growth strategy, the source said.

Competition in liquid-crystal displays and flat-panel TVs has driven Sharp to back-to-back losses totaling ¥921 billion in the past two business years, during which the ratio of equity to total assets fell to 6 percent from 35.6 percent.

The 100-year-old firm previously raised funds selling minority stakes to Samsung Electronics Co. and Qualcomm Inc.

Sharp had planned to raise about ¥100 billion through a share sale to investors in September, other souces said earlier this month. Makita Corp. and Lixil Group Corp. may buy stakes worth ¥10 billion each, one of them said.

Sharp is looking at ways to raise capital, including a public offering and third-party share allocation, while no decisions have been made, it said in an Aug. 1 filing.

Miyuki Nakayama, a spokeswoman for Sharp, declined comment Thursday on any potential public offering.

Shares of Sharp have climbed 30 percent so far this year, while the benchmark Topix index has gained 31 percent.

Earlier this month, Sharp reported a net loss of ¥18 billion in the three months that ended in June, narrower than the ¥138 billion loss a year earlier