Toshiba accepts $15 billion buyout offer from private equity group

What just happened? Toshiba has accepted a buyout offer from a consortium led by Japan Industrial Partners (JIP) that would take the Japanese tech giant private. The deal, which was approved by Toshiba’s board on Thursday, is valued at 2 trillion Yen (around $15.3 billion) or 4,620 Yen ($35.43) per share, and represents a premium of 9.7 percent over Thursday’s closing price of 4,213 Yen.

Toshiba has a storied history that dates back to the late 1800s. The company successfully established itself as a global electronics giant over the years but has struggled mightily ever since a major accounting scandal rocked the company in 2015.

The Japanese tech titan took several steps in an attempt to right the ship including cutting nearly 8,000 jobs and selling off multiple divisions. Toshiba sold its image sensor division to Sony, jettisoned its television business to Hisense, partied ways with its memory chip business and formally exited the PC market.

Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters that around 20 Japanese companies including Chubu Electric Power and chipmaker Rohm Co. plan to participate in the buyout. According to Refinitiv, the deal would be the third largest merger / acquisition globally this year if successfully executed.

Share value in Toshiba has slid more than 11 percent over the past year but is up about 4.2 percent on the news as of this writing.

The JIP bid was the only complete proposal received during Toshiba’s one-year competitive auction process. Toshiba fielded eight proposals in the first wave alongside two capital alliance offers, but only four offers made it to the second round according to sources.

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Analyst Travis Lundy with Quiddity Advisors told Reuters the deal ends months of uncertainty regarding whether or not a deal was inbound. The price may be disappointing, Lundy noted, but at least it is a way out for activist investors.

JIP is expected to produce a tender offer in late July, we are told.

Image credit: Building by Wen Xiao, Camcorder by Kasra Askari

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