Sharp’s shares have jumped 9% off the back of reports Intel will invest $500 million in the struggling Company.Yesterday several media reports suggested Intel could invest as much as 40 billion yen (US$500 million) in Sharp. The news saw Sharp shares surge up to 9% on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
As of late Sharp has been hit by hard times and is desperately trying to restructure its operations. Earlier this year, Sharp’s credit rating was demoted to “junk,” which the BBC warns could deter future investors.
Earlier this month, Sharp forecast a loss of 450bn yen for the financial year ending on the 31st of March, 2013, owed in part to a slowing demand for TVs.
In an effort to raise funds, the Company will cut its global workforce by 20% and intends on liquidating several major assets, including its stake in Toshiba.
It has also been looking for potential investors, one of which was Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry (commonly known as Foxconn). On offer was a 10 % stake for $800 million, but it’s uncertain if the iPhone-manufacturer will commit as Sharp’s shares have since fallen by 70%.
“They are desperate to raise funds as they have a huge cash flow problem right now,” Gerhard Fasol of Eurotechnology Japan told the BBC.
“They not only need money to run their day-to-day operations, but also to service some of their debt that will be due in the coming months.”
Fasol warned Sharp will need to focus on R&D if it is to remain a competitive player. Currently the company is making some ground in display technology, introducing more efficient IZGO screens, 5 inch, Full HD touchscreens and screens that integrate touch sensors directly into a LCD panel.