Sharp rejects new Recurrent sale talk

Electronics giant Sharp has denied new claims in Japan that it is open to negotiations on the sale of US solar developer Recurrent Energy for roughly ¥20bn ($191m) in the new year.

A Sharp spokesperson dismissed as “speculation” a report by the Kyodo news agency stating that the group would try to sell San Francisco-based Recurrent to an energy producer or trading firm in Japan.

“We’re currently studying every possible way to restructure our business,” Sharp spokeswoman Miyuki Nakayama tells Recharge. “We’re certainly looking into our solar business as well, but we have not made a decision at this point, apart from the UK.”

Earlier this month, the company revealed plans to halt PV module production at its 400MW factory in Wrexham, North Wales, in February. It had said as recently as September of this year that the plant was operating close to full capacity.

Speculation that Sharp might sell Recurrent first surfaced in September 2012. The Osaka-based group purchased the company, which claims a North American PV pipeline of 2GW, for roughly $305m in September 2010.

Last June, Sharp told Recharge that it did not plan to sell Recurrent, stating that it was “doing quite well".

Sales at Sharp’s solar division jumped 80% to ¥168.3bn ($1.7bn) in the first half of the current fiscal year compared to the last, as residential and utility-scale PV demand continued to soar in Japan.