Japan's Sharp to cut 6,000 jobs in global restructuring: source

Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:50am EDT
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TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's loss-making Sharp Corp (6753.T: Quote) intends to cut 12 percent of its workforce in a global restructuring expected to cost more than $1.7 billion, a person familiar with the plan said on Thursday.

The job cuts will total around 6,000, half of which would come in Japan through early retirement while the rest would be overseas, according to the person, who was briefed on the matter but declined to be identified as a formal decision has not been made.

On track for its third annual net loss in four years, the LCD screen and consumer electronics manufacturer has been in talks with banks, seeking to secure its second major bailout since 2012 while working on a fresh plan to overhaul its business.

Sources have said a debt-to-equity swap would be a logical option and that Sharp has also asked Japan Industrial Solutions, a corporate turnaround fund, to invest up to $250 million in capital.

The person who spoke to Reuters on Thursday said a debt-to-equity swap and an investment from the fund would likely help cover the restructuring costs of more than 200 billion yen.

Sharp declined to comment on reports of restructuring plans, saying that it has not made any announcements.

Expectations that Sharp would embark on further restructuring with the blessing of its banks helped its shares end 2.2 percent higher.

NO LCD OVERHAUL   Continued...

A shopper using a smartphone rides an escalator past under a logo of Sharp Corp at an electronics shop in Tokyo March 3, 2015.  REUTERS/Yuya Shino