Japan’s Toshiba Corp faces a Friday, March 31, deadline to win Chinese antitrust approval to sell its prized US$18 billion memory-chip business by end-March, raising the possibility the deadline may be missed and that it will seek alternatives such as an IPO.
The conglomerate agreed last year to sell the world’s second-biggest producer of NAND flash memory chips to a consortium led by US private equity firm Bain Capital to plug a huge financial hole left by the bankruptcy of its US nuclear unit.
Toshiba no longer faces immediate insolvency or a delisting even if it does not meet the end-March deadline for the sale as it has raised funds from a share issue late last year, but the deal is still key to its plan to rebound from a US$1.3 billion accounting scandal and a crisis in the nuclear power business.
Missing the end-March deadline for the sale of the chip unit to the Bain consortium gives Toshiba the option of walking away without penalties, people briefed on the matter said.
Those people said Toshiba could listen to activist shareholders who oppose the sale saying the US$18 billion price tag undervalues the business.
Full Content: The Japan Times