シャープ再建 サムスンの出資に頼る苦渋策

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Mar. 9, 2013)
Sharp must accelerate rehab efforts with capital tie-up with Samsung
シャープ再建 サムスンの出資に頼る苦渋策(3月8日付・読売社説)

Sharp Corp., which has been in corporate rehabilitation, now aims to ensure its survival through a capital tie-up with longtime rival Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea.

Sharp took a step toward strengthening its financial base with the tie-up, but uncertainty still looms over the company’s future. Sharp is urged to swiftly advance its management reform with the tie-up as leverage.

According to the terms of their agreement, Samsung will invest 10.3 billion yen in capital and is expected to own a 3 percent stake in Sharp.

Sharp plans to provide Samsung with liquid crystal display (LCD) panels for smartphones and television sets, regaining sales in an effort to improve earnings. Samsung, for its part, focused on the advantage of stable procurement of LCD panels.


Deadlock in renegotiations

Hit by such factors as failed major investments and a sales slump in LCD panels, Sharp is expected to post a deficit for fiscal 2012, for the second business year in a row.

A year ago, Sharp agreed to accept capital investment from major Taiwan manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. However, renegotiations with Hon Hai, which demanded a review of the terms of the agreement, hit a deadlock, raising concern over Sharp’s ability to raise operational funds.

With no bright prospects in its negotiations with Hon Hai, Sharp must have made the painful choice to ask Samsung for capital investment.

Japanese and South Korean electronics manufacturers have battled fiercely since the 1990s in such fields as semiconductors, flat-screen TVs, LCD panels and lithium-ion batteries.

At first, technologically superior Japanese firms were dominant, but in recent years Samsung and other South Korean firms have grown rapidly. Currently, the positions are reversed.

The rare situation of a Japanese company accepting a major investment of capital from a South Korean one symbolizes the difference in vigor between companies in the two countries.

The focus from now on is whether Sharp can fully utilize the benefits of the tie-up with Samsung in accelerating its corporate rehabilitation efforts.

First, the company will be required to increase operation rates of factories by expanding sales routes of LCD panels and get its business into the black.

Sharp has been making small and medium-size LCD panels for smartphones and tablet computers of Apple Inc. of the United States, which entrusts Hon Hai with the production of its products.

Sharp will provide small and medium-size LCDs to Samsung, which has been at loggerheads with Apple. The success or failure of this strategy, a departure from its dependence on Apple, will bear watching.


Prevent tech outflow

Sharp, which is obliged to redeem a huge amount of corporate bonds this autumn, still has a weak capital base. Further improvement of its financial capacity is an urgent task.

Another concern is the possibility of an overseas outflow of Sharp’s state-of-art technologies. Because of the capital tie-up, we wonder if Samsung may ask Sharp to provide its technologies to the South Korean firm. Countermeasures are needed to protect the technical base of Japan’s creative manufacturing.

Management rehabilitation is still under way at Japanese home appliance companies, including Panasonic Corp. We hope each of those companies will redouble its efforts to rise again, in line with the policy of the government, which attaches importance to strengthening industrial competitiveness.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, March 8, 2013)
(2013年3月8日01時30分 読売新聞)


srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク



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