Sharp to End Solar Panel Business in U.S., Europe, Kyodo Says

Sharp Corp. plans to end production and sales of solar cells and modules in the U.S. and Europe by March as part of a restructuring, Kyodo News said.

Sharp also plans to sell three manufacturing plants for solar products in Japan’s Nara, Osaka and Toyama prefectures and consolidate production at its Sakai plant, Kyodo reported today, without saying where it got the information.

Sharp wasn’t the source of the report and nothing has been decided, Miyuki Nakayama, a company spokeswoman, said by phone.

Osaka-based Sharp plans to cut more than 10,000 jobs, or about 18 percent of its workforce, and is in talks to sell plants as it tries to return to profit, two people with knowledge of the proposal said yesterday.

The job cuts and sales of television factories in Mexico, China and Malaysia, as well as U.S. solar developer Recurrent Energy LLC, were in the plan Sharp presented to lenders Sept. 24, the people said, declining to be identified because the matter isn’t public.

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