Sharp to cut debt load, promote Hon Hai ties


Sharp Corp. said Friday it plans to reduce interest-bearing debt and collaborate with Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. on selling smartphones in China as part of steps to turn around its struggling business.

Japan’s biggest maker of liquid-crystal displays aims to trim interest-bearing debt to ¥800 billion by September, down from ¥1.1 trillion as of the end of March, and is also in talks with a client of Hon Hai on panels sales. The company said it will also transfer 1,300 employees to a separate LCD unit.

President Takashi Okuda, 58, who took the helm in April, is trying to restructure Sharp’s operations after it posted a record annual loss in 2011.

The new plan comes after the maker of Aquos TVs turned to Foxconn Technology Group, a Taiwanese assembler of iPhones and iPads, and Foxconn founder Terry Gou for ¥132.5 billion in funds.

Domestic consumer electronics makers are reeling from record losses last year, including Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp., and have appointed new CEOs and announced job cuts.