Toshiba accepts $15.2b buyout proposal


Toshiba Corp’s board accepted a $15.2 billion buyout offer from a group led by private equity firm Japan Industrial Partners, the company said on Thursday, potentially drawing a line under years of upheaval at the conglomerate.

A successful deal, which would value Toshiba at 4,620 yen per share or 2 trillion yen in total, would see the scandal-ridden company taken private and firmly in domestic hands after much tension with overseas activist shareholders. It is, however, not yet clear whether activist funds will be satisfied with the terms. The offer price would give just a 9.7% premium over Thursday’s closing price of 4,213 yen.

Toshiba said in a filing that the board would not go as far as recommending shareholders to tender their shares, because the offer price is not high enough to give recommendations.

The price was lowered a few times from an initial offer of up to 5,500 yen per share, according to the filing.

It also said the board’s support may change before late July, when the JIP group plans to start the tender offer.

But the JIP bid is “the only complete proposal” that has been submitted during a one-year competitive auction process, and would give shareholders a chance to exit their investments, Toshiba said.

“This ends months of uncertainty regarding whether a deal was coming and years of uncertainty regarding board understanding of the right price,” said analyst Travis Lundy of Quiddity Advisers.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 24th, 2023.

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