Journalists raise their hands in questioning at a Toshiba conference in June 2017.ISSEI KATO / Reuters
Toshiba confirmed late on Tuesday that it is studying a $ 20 billion takeover offer from Luxembourg venture capital fund CVC Capital Partners, which would take the Japanese electronics manufacturer off the stock market into private hands.
Its board of directors is scheduled to meet Wednesday to discuss the potential deal, according to a person familiar with the matter.
In the wake of the news, Toshiba shares soared 18% on Tuesday to its daily high, the biggest rise since 2017, taking its 2021 profit to 57% and its market value to about $ 19 billion.
"Toshiba received an initial proposal yesterday and will ask for further clarification and will consider it carefully," Toshiba said in a statement, without giving further details.
According to the Japanese media Nikkei, it is possible that a formal proposal will be presented this Wednesday.
That would make it the largest private equity-led purchase since 2013, and the largest CVC acquisition on record.
Toshiba sacrifices its jewelry
The offer comes as Toshiba faces scrutiny from activists following a series of scandals, including a record fine for faulty accounting, billions of dollars in losses and a failed entry into US nuclear power.
The company hired its CEO, Nobuaki Kurumatani, a former CVC executive, to regain the confidence of investors.
"Shareholders may be receptive to the offer since the deal appears to offer a premium," said Naoki Fujiwara, fund director of Shinkin Asset Management, in statements collected by
According to an anonymous source quoted by
, CVC considers a premium of 30% on the price of the shares at the close of this Tuesday.
Fujiwara adds that the operation will also have to overcome another front: “The [Japanese] government will also have to give its approval due to Toshiba's involvement in Defense.
There are still many doubts as to whether this type of agreement is feasible ”.
Toshiba is deeply involved with society and the Japanese government for its work to dismantle the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant, a process that will take decades.
It is also expected to face intense regulatory overhaul if privatized, as it is one of the few companies that can build nuclear reactors and sensitive equipment such as lithium-ion batteries for Japanese military submarines.
“Although it has faced bankruptcy, Toshiba is still one of the largest companies in Japan.
It also has many businesses linked to government policies, so it seems unrealistic that it will become a private, foreign-owned company, ”according to Takuro Hayashi, an analyst at Iwai Cosmo Securities.