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Asia300

Sharp to spin off logistics ops

OSAKA -- Sharp plans to create a separate company to handle its logistics, part of new President Tai Jeng-wu's vision of a leaner, more cost-efficient manufacturer.

A formal decision on the spinoff is expected as soon as this week. Arranging product shipments from factories to distributors, as well as other logistical matters, now falls partly under Osaka-based Sharp's direct management.

Sharp's logistics operations are thought to employ some 100 people. They may be transferred to the new company, which will draw on the global supply chain expertise of Sharp's new majority shareholder, Hon Hai Precision Industry, the Taiwanese contract manufacturer known as Foxconn.

Sharp announced this month the establishment of subsidiary ScienBiziP Japan to manage its patents and other intellectual property. A Foxconn-affiliated consultancy will contribute a portion of the Osaka unit's capital. Here, too, Sharp will rely on its Taiwanese partner's know-how, with a view to eventually managing others' intellectual property as a revenue source. It may take the same profit-oriented approach with the new logistics unit.

Tai, who doubles as a Foxconn executive, told employees in an Aug. 22 message that he aims to narrow the functions under Sharp's direct management in order to concentrate more resources on product development and sales.

(Nikkei)

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