Sharp considering raising $1.2 billion to beef up capital: media

Struggling Japanese TV maker Sharp Corp <6753.T> is considering raising more than 100 billion yen ($1.2 billion) this spring to bolster its capital base, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The debt-laden company, whose displays are used in Apple Inc's iPads and iPhones, was forced to seek a bailout from banks in September and has forecast a loss of 155 billion yen for the fiscal year to March 2013, hit by rising costs from a strong yen and tough competition from its South Korean rivals.

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Sharp's capital-to-asset ratio is likely to fall to around 8 percent in March. Its main creditor banks want it to raise that ratio to above 10 percent with a mixture of steps including public and preferred share offerings as well as subordinated loans, the Japanese daily said, without citing sources.

Sharp will announce plans for a capital increase in February and hopes to use the proceeds to strengthen its capital base and its main liquid crystal display (LCD) panel business, according to the paper.

The company was not immediately available for comment.

Shares of Sharp have slumped and its credit rating was downgraded to junk status as the company struggles to turn its business around. It recently agreed on a capital and business tie-up with Qualcomm Inc in which the U.S. chipmaker will invest as much as $120 million.

Sharp's shares closed at 303 yen in Tokyo on Friday, well off its year-low of 142 yen hit in October but less than half its value at the outset of 2012.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Kim Coghill)