Japanese conglomerate Toshiba has received a buyout offer from a British private equity fund in a deal that could be worth about $20bn (£14.5bn).
The scandal-hit firm’s shares were temporarily halted on Tokyo’s stock exchange after it confirmed the bid by CVC Capital Partners. If successful, it will allow Toshiba to focus on renewable energy and other core businesses, reports suggested.
Toshiba’s US-listed shares rocketed almost 20% after the bid was revealed. The conglomerate has been at the center of a number of scandals in recent years, including false accounting and huge losses linked to its US nuclear unit. It was forced to sell its profit-making chip sector to make up for huge losses.
Toshiba’s chief executive and president Nobuaki Kurumatani confirmed the offer from CVC Capital Partners – his former employer – on Wednesday, adding that “we’ll discuss it in a board meeting.” CVC’s main office is in London although Luxembourg is its official headquarters.
Toshiba was once synonymous with the global ascent of corporate Japan but has since been forced to diversify into other areas. Last year, the Japanese electronics giant sold its final stake in the personal computer maker Dynabook. This marked the end of its connection with making PCs or laptops.
Toshiba has been under pressure from large overseas shareholders for greater transparency and better governance. CVC is looking to expand in Japan and has bought a low-cost skincare brand Shiseido’s lower-priced skincare and shampoo brands for $1.5bn. It is also making big investments in rugby, paying £365m for a 14.3% stake in the Six Nations annual men’s rugby tournament.