Toshiba eyes selling its US nuclear business
17 March, 2017
The struggling Japanese electronics giant Toshiba is considering selling its majority stake in US nuclear unit Westinghouse in order to return to growth, news wires reported citing the company's President Satoshi Tsunakawa. Toshiba bought Westinghouse in 2006, but has suffered huge cost over-runs in the following years. “We are working on nurturing our growth businesses to return to stable growth by fiscal years 2018 and 2019,” Tsunakawa said.
Separately, Toshiba has also been given permission to delay reporting its earnings for a second time - this time until 11 April. In February, the firm delayed publishing its results over disagreements with its auditors. It also announced a 712.5bn yen ($6.3bn) write-down because some of its US nuclear assets were worth far less than estimated. The situation has led some analysts to warn that the company's future may be at risk.
Toshiba had initially alerted investors in December 2016 that it faced a heavy one-off loss linked to a deal done by Westinghouse. Assets that it took on are likely to be worth less than initially thought and there is also a dispute about payments that are due. Since December's announcement, Toshiba shares have lost more than half of their value.
While often still associated with its technology products, Toshiba has become a diverse conglomerate. Its nuclear services business brings in about a third of its revenue. However, that side of the business has not made a profit since 2013 and nuclear services globally are struggling since the Fukushima disaster in 2011.