The Daily Manila Shimbun


Toshiba is looking to state-owned bank for aid as big writedown likely

January 19, 2017

TOKYO- Toshiba Corp. is looking to the state-owned Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) for financial assistance as the beleaguered electronics maker is likely facing a far bigger writedown than initially expected on its struggling nuclear business, sources close to the matter said Thursday.
A day after indicating that it was considering spinning off its top-earning flash memory business in order to make up for the billions of U.S. dollars the group is facing in its nuclear business related writeoffs, the Tokyo-based electronics maker, now possibly facing impairment charges of up to 700 billion yen (6.09 billion U.S. dollars), has sought assistance from the government-backed bank.
Toshiba had previously factored in losses estimated at being 500 billion yen, but owing to unfavorable currency exchange rates and the losses being calculated in U.S. dollars, the asset impairment charges have skyrocketed, with sources adding that Toshiba may now also be looking into selling off more of its assets.
A new stock offering to raise necessary funds may not be an option, however, for Toshiba, as its shares were placed on a “securities on alert” watchlist by the Tokyo bourse in September 2015, following an accounting scandal, which had initially dented the company’s reputation, prior to the huge impairment costs.
Toshiba’s involvement in one of Japan’s largest-ever accounting scandals, saw the multinational conglomerate involved in padding its profits by 152 billion yen between 2008 and 2014, leading to its chief, and half of its board resigning, as the firm was fined an unprecedented 60 million U.S. dollars.
In terms of the company’s stock, it tumbled 46.10 yen, or 16.0 percent, to 242.30 yen, following Thursday’s projected losses being as much as 700 billion yen.
A spokesperson for Toshiba said Wednesday that the firm is possibly planning a cash infusion as part of a broader spinoff plan, with the electronics maker possibly looking to sell a stake of as much as 20 percent in its high-yielding chip business to the tune of 300 billion yen (2.64 billion U.S. dollars).
While the firm’s NAND-type flash memory business has become a global industry standard, with the memory devices, produced locally, used in technology such as smartphones around the world and estimated to be worth 2 trillion yen, it’s nuclear business has failed in a number of areas, both at home and abroad.
Particularly in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis, Toshiba has been struggling to secure new orders and the firm said it is facing billions of U.S. dollars in writedowns at its U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse Electric Co.
As part of the spin off plan, Toshiba is also mulling the idea of a partial sale to Western Digital Corp., which has already invested in Toshiba’s dedicated Yokkaichi flash memory plant in Mie prefecture, as well as accepting investments from third-parties.
Toshiba’s financial backers have agreed to float the embattled company through February despite further loans possibly becoming impossible due to credit downgrades and its liabilities exceeding its assets. (Xinhua)