Toshiba got removed from the Tokyo stock exchange on December 20 after being listed for 74 years, according to a Reuters report. This happened because of ten years of trouble and scandal that caused significant problems for one of Japan’s major brands.
Now, a group of investors, mainly led by the private equity firm Japan Industrial Partners (JIP), is taking Toshiba private. This group also includes financial services company Orix, utility Chubu Electric Power, and chipmaker Rohm.
The takeover is valued at $14 billion, bringing Toshiba under the ownership of Japanese entities after dealing with challenges from foreign activist investors. These challenges had caused issues for Toshiba, a company known for making batteries, chips, and nuclear and defense equipment. Moreover, Recently Japanese tech giant Rakuten plans to launch its own AI models.
Toshiba’s Transition to a New Future
Toshiba has expressed that it is embarking on a significant journey toward a fresh future with new ownership. The company stated in a release that it values ongoing understanding and support from its stakeholders.
On their last trading day, December 19, Toshiba shares closed at 4,590 yen, a 0.1% decrease from the previous day.
The exact direction Toshiba will take under its new owners is uncertain. However, CEO Taro Shimada, who remains in his position after the acquisition, is anticipated to prioritize high-profit digital services.
The support from Japan Industrial Partners (JIP) for Mr. Shimada disrupted the company’s earlier plan to collaborate with a government-backed fund. Some industry experts suggest that dividing Toshiba into separate entities might be a more favorable option.
Damian Thong, the head of Japan research at Macquarie Capital Securities, stated, “Toshiba’s challenges boiled down to a mix of poor strategic choices and unfortunate circumstances. I wish that, through selling off assets, Toshiba’s resources and skilled workforce can find new opportunities to fully thrive.”
Toshiba’s Current Situation
The Japanese government will be closely monitoring the situation. With approximately 106,000 employees, some of Toshiba’s operations are considered vital for national security.
Four executives from JIP will become board members, along with one representative each from investors Orix and Chubu Electric. Additionally, a senior adviser from Toshiba’s primary lender, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, will join the new management team.
Toshiba has already taken initial steps, forming a partnership with Rohm to invest $2.7 billion in manufacturing facilities for the joint production of power chips.
To enhance its standing, the company must exit less profitable ventures and formulate more robust commercial approaches for its advanced technologies, according to Ulrike Schaede, a professor of Japanese business at the University of California, San Diego.
Professor Schaede added, “If the management can find a method to allow those engineers to genuinely participate in groundbreaking innovation endeavors, the company could establish itself as a significant player.”
Toshiba, a major Japanese brand, faced challenges and scandals, leading to its delisting after 74 years on the Tokyo stock exchange. A group led by Japan Industrial Partners is taking over for $14 billion, emphasizing digital services. Despite uncertainties, Toshiba’s strategic shifts, government attention, and collaborations aim to ensure its crucial role in national security.