Toshiba mulls sell off of all of chip business

February 14, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
Struggling Toshiba Corp. could sell a majority, or even the whole, of its profitable chip business to raise cash to cover a massive write down in its nuclear power business, according to reports from a news conference in Tokyo that was described as "chaotic."

Up until now Toshiba has said it was looking to sell no more than 19.9 percent of its chip business for about $3.6 billion although this has produced a tepid response from potential buyers (see Few firms show interest in Toshiba's chip business ).

However, Toshiba today (Feb. 14) announced the anticipated write-down on its nuclear engineering business at $6.3 billion. And even this announcement was late and the figures are unaudited, according to the reports, leaving the possibility of even greater losses and leaving the company in extreme need of capital. Toshiba said that a major revision of the numbers is possible and fully audited numbers are now expected on March 14.

"We are considering various offers for the chips business and we will act flexibly - even if that means giving up a majority of the unit," Reuters reported CEO Satoshi Tsunakawa as saying.

Toshiba is struggling to come to terms with a loss of financial control over its nuclear business and there is the possibility that another accounting scandal will be uncovered, similar to that which plunged Toshiba into retreat in 2015 (see Toshiba CEO resigns over accounting scandal ).

Toshiba also announced that chairman Shigenori Shiga will step down. Shiga was one of the team that took control of Toshiba after the accounting scandal of 2015.

Toshiba's chip business, predominantly the manufacturing of NAND flash memory for Western Digital and others, is one of the few profitable businesses in Toshiba's portfolio.

Related links and articles:

www.toshiba.co.jp

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Few firms show interest in Toshiba's chip business

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