updated 03:31 pm EDT, Tue September 25, 2012
Workforce reductions a possible path to profitability
Japanese electronics maker Sharp has submitted a restructuring plan to its creditors, one that envisions job cuts in excess of 10,000 as well as asset sales in an effort to return to profitability. Sources familiar with the plan tell The Wall Street Journal that it would involve wage reductions in addition to letting go of nearly one-fifth of Sharp's global employees. The electronics and component manufacturer has enjoyed some success in Japan, but the strength of the Japanese yen and increased competition abroad have cut deeply into Sharp's bottom line.
Sharp previously submitted a restructuring plan in August. That plan called for about 5,000 job cuts, and it was rumored at the time that the company was considering selling its television-assembly plants in Mexico and China, which would further reduce Sharp's employee rolls by 3,000.
Now, the company is considering selling plants in Mexico, China, and Malaysia. Sharp is also said to be considering the sale of California-based Recurrent Energy, a solar power developer Sharp purchased in 2010 for $305 million.
Should Sharp follow through on these plans, its lenders are said to be prepared to provide the company with $4.6 billion in commercial paper by the end of the month. Sharp is currently on the books for about four times that amount in interest-bearing debt already.