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Toshiba is toast for now

by on20 December 2023

Delisted after 74 years

Troubled electronics maker Toshiba has been delisted after 74 years on the Tokyo exchange.

The company has suffered a decade of upheaval and scandal. The conglomerate is being taken private by a group of investors led by private equity firm Japan Industrial Partners(JIP), including financial services firm Orix, utility Chubu Electric Power and chipmaker Rohm.

The $14 billion takeover puts Toshiba in domestic hands after protracted battles with overseas activist investors that paralysed the maker of batteries, chips, and nuclear and defence equipment.

Toshiba "will now take a major step toward a new future with a new shareholder," the company said in a statement, adding that it would appreciate continuous stakeholder understanding and support.

The company will return one day, but it will be a different animal from now. Chief Executive Taro Shimada, who stays in his role following the buyout, is expected to focus on high-margin digital services.

JIP's support for Shimada had derailed its earlier plan to team up with a state-backed fund. Some industry insiders say splitting up Toshiba may be a better option.

Analysts think that through divestitures, Toshiba's assets and staff can find new homes where their full potential can be unleashed."

Japan's government will be keeping a close watch. The company employs around 106,000 people, and some of its operations are seen as critical to national security.

Four JIP executives will join the board and one each from investors Orix and Chubu Electric. A senior adviser from Toshiba's main lender, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, will join the new management team.

Toshiba has begun moving, teaming up with Rohm to invest $2.7 billion in manufacturing facilities to produce power chips.


Last modified on 20 December 2023
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