Sharp issued another statement this week denying speculative reports about plans to overhaul its business. The latest rumours suggest that Sharp is in talks with state-backed Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) to invest ¥100 billion ($840 million) in a new LCD subsidiary for small and medium sized panels.
INCJ helped launch Japan Display in 2012 by bringing together the small and medium-sized display businesses of Sony, Hitachi and Toshiba (Display Monitor Vol 18 No 34).
In related news, Sharp is reported to have confirmed that an unknown number of employees in the company’s US TV business are to lose their jobs. Initial reports suggest that as many as 6,000 jobs could be cut across the company this year, though Sharp has not confirmed numbers.
In a statement to US online publication TWICE, the company’s US president, Jim Sanduski said: “There is no change to Sharp’s commitment to the consumer business in the United States through retail. This includes both the appliance and A/V businesses. We remain devoted to the TV business in the U.S. and in fact, all of the TVs we showed at CES and subsequently issued pricing on are either arriving in market now or will be by June. However, as the TV industry changes we are faced with adjusting our business model to remain competitive. This has resulted in the need for some staffing reductions. While these changes are painful, we will continue to fully support our channel partners’ sales efforts and we are looking forward to a successful 2015 and beyond”.