Japanese electronics giant Sharp plans to abandon its joint venture with Italy's Enel to produce solar panels, Japan's Kyodo news agency reported Monday.
The Osaka-based firm, now in the midst of a restructuring aimed at returning to profit, may sell its entire stake in the 3Sun operation in Sicily.
Sharp, Enel and Swiss company STMicroelectronics founded the solar venture in June 2010.
The Sicilian manufacturing plant, built at a cost of 49 million euros ($64.6 million), is one of the largest of its kind in Europe.
Sharp management wants to concentrate on Japan and the booming Asian market, Kyodo said, adding that the Japanese company is also contemplating the sale of half of its stake in another European solar-panel factory co-owned with Enel.
Sharp's strategy calls for getting out of solar-cell and -panel manufacturing and distribution in Europe and the United States by March 31, the end of Japan's 2013 fiscal year, Kyodo said.
The sprawling Japanese firm plans to eliminate some 10,000 jobs in its quest to return to profitability after registering a record net loss of 3.3 billion euros ($4.35 billion) in 2011. EFE