Japan's Sharp posts $918m loss amid bailout talks

Sharp logo Image copyright AFP
Image caption Sharp has had to be bailed out twice by lenders in the last three years

Japanese electronics firm Sharp posted a net loss of $918m (£630m) even as it considers multiple bailout offers.

The bigger-than-expected shortfall was for the April-to-December period.

However, shares of Sharp surged about 26% ahead of its earnings release on reports it has entered into exclusive takeover talks with Taiwan's Foxconn.

The century-old company also has a competing offer from the state-backed investment fund Innovation Network Corp of Japan (INCJ).

There has been speculation that the Japanese government is keen to keep the company in local hands, given its proprietary technology.

Sharp, a major producer of display screens for smartphones, tablets and televisions, said it plans to make a decision within the month.

In 2012, Sharp nearly entered bankruptcy and has been saddled with heavy debts that required two major bailouts in the last four years.

A large part of this is due to its loss-making display panel business, which has struggled to compete against South Korean producers and cheaper Chinese rivals.

Foxconn Technology Group, which assembles most of the world's iPhones, initially offered about $5.3bn to take over Sharp before raising this to $5.9bn.

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