Japan's Toshiba to split into 3 firms due to foreign shareholders pressure

2021-11-12 17:19

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TOKYO, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- Japan's Toshiba Corp. on Friday said that it would split into three listed companies, focusing on infrastructure, devices, and semiconductors respectively, as the firm was facing intense pressure from foreign activist shareholders.

The envisaged split-up plan will streamline business operations and appease shareholders disgruntled by efforts to boost growth and corporate value, and Toshiba aims to complete the listing of the firms in the second half of fiscal 2023, according to local media reports.

Toshiba plans to create two spin-off firms focusing on infrastructure and devices. The remaining company will hold around 40 percent shares in chipmaker Kioxia Holdings Corp.

The behemoth with a history spanning over a century has a variety of businesses, from nuclear power and elevators to hard disk drives and semiconductors. Its sales in fiscal 2020 ending in March were over 3 trillion yen (26 billion U.S. dollars).

However, financial markets tend to evaluate the conglomerate at less than the sum of its combined businesses.

Following the 2017 bankruptcy of its U.S. nuclear plant subsidiary Westinghouse Electric Co., foreign activist shareholders invested in Toshiba and gained influence.

Toshiba has undergone restructuring in recent years and shifted its main business from consumer electronics, which earned its status as a household name, to infrastructure and renewable energy.

The company sold its TV business and white goods segment to China's Hisense Group and China's Midea Group Co., respectively, while the PC unit, known for the Dynabook laptop, was sold to Sharp Corp.
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