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Toshiba has announced it will sell a slice of its smartphone memory chip unit.

The company needs to raise funds after revealing a heavy one-off loss at its US nuclear power business.

Toshiba will unveil the size of the write-down next month, but some estimate it could be around $6 billion.

It is widely reported that 20% of the chip business will be sold off, and Toshiba is expected to confirm this later.

Toshiba’s chip business is the second biggest in the world after Samsung’s, and has been valued at between $9 billion and $13 billion.

The company says it hopes to have struck a deal by the end of March.

Reports suggest Canon, Western Digital and the Development Bank of Japan could be potential buyers, though analysts expect Toshiba may be forced to accept a cut-price offer given its financial woes are well-publicized.

Shares in Toshiba have fallen more than 45% since late December, when it revealed the problems in its nuclear arm, linked to a deal done by US subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric.

Westinghouse bought a nuclear construction and services business from Chicago Bridge & Iron (CB&I) in 2015. But assets that it took on are likely to be worth less than initially thought, and there is also a dispute about payments that are due.

Toshiba has also reported “inefficiencies” in the labor force at CB&I, along with other factors driving up costs.

The damage to its finances threatens to undo efforts to recover from 2015 revelations that profits had been overstated for seven years. The accounting scandal led to the resignation of the company’s chief executive.

Since then, Toshiba has been trying to slim down the business, including selling its profitable medical devices operation to Canon in 2016.


Toshiba has said it will halve the number of staff in its TV division to 3,000 as it looks to revamp the unit’s operations.

The changes will also see the firm close two of its three overseas TV manufacturing facilities.

The Japanese company said it would focus on emerging markets including Asia and Africa, and end sales in “unprofitable regions”.

Toshiba, like other Japanese TV makers, has been hit by slowing demand, falling prices and increased competition.

The company’s digital products division, which includes TV manufacturing, saw its losses widen to 16.3 billion yen ($166 million), in the financial year to March 31, compared with a loss of 3.3bn yen a year earlier.

Toshiba has said it will halve the number of staff in its TV division to 3,000 as it looks to revamp the unit's operations

Toshiba has said it will halve the number of staff in its TV division to 3,000 as it looks to revamp the unit’s operations

Toshiba, which makes the Regza brand TV sets, said in a statement that the changes were aimed “toward improving profitability and strengthening foundations of the business”.

The company said it would separate the TV business from its Digital Products & Services Company and merge it with Toshiba Home Appliances Corporation.

Toshiba said that it would move resources towards making large screen ultra high-definition (HD) 4K LCD TVs “where growing demand is expected”.

Leading global manufacturers have been looking at this segment, which offers four times the amount of detail as 1080p high-definition TV, as an area of potential growth.

Panasonic and South Korea’s LG are among the manufacturers that have launched ultra HD TVs.

Toshiba’s move to focus on the technology also comes as Japan is looking to become the first country to broadcast 4K programming over satellite from 2014, in time for the football World Cup.

Earlier this year, a Japanese telecoms company said that it was carrying out tests to try to prove that 4K-resolution video could be streamed over the internet to television set-top boxes.