Toshiba is considering a move that would see the company split up into three separate publicly traded units focusing on infrastructure, devices and memory chips.
Splitting up the almost 150 year old company would allow the Japanese conglomerate to streamline its businesses and deliver more value to shareholders.
According to a Toshiba spokesperson, the company is “considering a split-up as one of the options for increasing corporate value”. While the idea to split its business into three parts may be included in the company’s new medium-term business plan set to be unveiled later this week, “nothing has been decided” yet.
Appeasing activist shareholders
After its US nuclear plant subsidiary Westinghouse Electric Co. went bankrupt back in 2017, Toshiba began accepting funds from foreign investors. However, in the years since, the company has faced mounting pressure from foreign activist shareholders who want the Japanese firm to make its business portfolio more efficient.
By splitting the company up into three separate units and listing each one of them publicly, Toshiba may be able to appease these activist shareholders. However, this isn’t the only option being considered as sources familiar with the matter say that the company could also go private.
Earlier this summer, an independent investigation panel found that Toshiba had colluded with the Japanese government to block activist foreign investors from influencing its board last year. This led to the board’s chairman being voted out and the company has been exploring ways to maximize corporate value and shareholder returns ever since.
We’ll have to wait and see what Toshiba ends up doing but either way, it will likely shake up the Japanese tech market as the company’s business portfolio covers everything from nuclear power to semiconductors.