Sharp shares tumble nearly 10% on report it is seeking help from banks

A pedestrian walks past a logo of Sharp Corp at a train station in Tokyo in this Feb 3, 2014 file photo. The company's shares tumbled nearly 10 per cent in early trade on Tuesday after the Nikkei business daily reported that the struggling electronic
A pedestrian walks past a logo of Sharp Corp at a train station in Tokyo in this Feb 3, 2014 file photo. The company's shares tumbled nearly 10 per cent in early trade on Tuesday after the Nikkei business daily reported that the struggling electronics maker plans to request aid from two main lenders. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

TOKYO - Shares in Sharp Corp tumbled nearly 10 per cent in early trade on Tuesday after the Nikkei business daily reported that the struggling electronics maker plans to request aid from two main lenders, including a 150 billion yen (S$1.71 billion) debt-for-equity swap.

Sharp fell as much as 9.8 per cent, the biggest intraday decline since April, to 229 yen and traded at 234 yen as of 9:18 a.m. in Tokyo. It was the biggest drop among companies in Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index, which rose 0.2 per cent.

A supplier of displays to Apple Inc., Sharp after the Nikkei report that it's considering restructuring options. The company is drafting a new medium-term business plan, and no decision has been made on restructuring, Sharp said Tuesday in a statement to the Tokyo Stock Exchange. There are no plans to revise earnings forecasts at this time, the company said.

Sharp is seeking to raise about 200 billion yen from a debt-for-equity swap with lenders as well as share sales, Nikkei reported, without saying where it got the information. The company's fiscal 2015 net loss may widen to 100 billion yen from the current forecast for a loss of 30 billion yen, Nikkei said.

The maker of Aquos televisions has been trying to cut costs as it struggles to compete with rivals including Sony Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Electronics Inc.

The company plans to write off solar-panel production equipment and may seek a buyer for the business, Nikkei said.

Sharp said it wasn't the source of the Nikkei report.

Bloomberg, AFP