The Strategist

Toshiba is Launching a Big Sale... Of Their Business

10/26/2015 - 14:09

Japanese Toshiba sells its business for the production of image sensors to Sony, Bloomberg reported, citing its own sources. The acquisition price is $ 164.68 million.

This decision was taken due to the company carrying out a major restructuring of the company. Experts note that Toshiba can completely withdraw from the market production of sensor technology, focusing on the more profitable segments.

According to the director Masashi Muromachi, Toshiba may liquidate workers positions in inefficient departments responsible, in particular, for production of household appliances, televisions and computers. Dates and volume of the staff purge were not mentioned.

In addition to layoffs, Toshiba intends to transform their nuclear business in the field of energy, forming partnership links in this market, said Muromachi.

Now the Japanese vendor is forced to sell off assets. Last month, the company announced sale of shares of their Chinese partner Skyworth Digital Holdings. The company will get rid of 5% in each of two divisions of Skyworth, which specialize in the production of non-brand electronics (white-box). The cost of the transaction and the name of the prospective purchaser of the assets were not disclosed.

Besides, the situation with the assets sale is partly stipulated by a desire to ensure a positive cash flow after a major financial scandal, which has affected the semiconductor business. In early September, Toshiba announced the revision of income over the past few years. Accounting frauds were the reason, for which the company's profit before tax has been revised downward by 225 billion yen ($ 1.9 billion) for the seven-year period from 2008. Net profit dropped to 155 billion yen ($ 1.3 billion). Revenues were deducted from performance units that produce nuclear reactors, memory chips and laptop computers.
In July 2015, Toshiba completed the audit, the results of which revealed that the company’s top managers had been fabricating financial statements for six years, which materialized in overstating the group’s profit for $ 1.2 billion. All the guilty directors were dismissed.

According to Nikkei, Toshiba made mistakes in managing inventory discrete semiconductors, which are used in a wide range of electronics. In 2012, in connection with the restructuring, Toshiba has closed three facilities for the production of chips, but before that, the company has increased production and made significant inventory of semiconductors to ensure uninterrupted supplies.

However, sales were weak, which led to residue stock. In such cases, a company should write off the cost of inventories, which Toshiba, apparently, did not, hoping for rise in demand. Inactivity has resulted in the income overstatement.

Used in digital cameras and smartphones, image sensors are part of the LSI system of Toshiba’s semiconductor business. So far, the company’s representatives have refrained from comments. The only thing they said that the company is considering several options for development of the semiconductor business.

According to media reports, the agreement between Toshiba and Sony can be concluded in the near future.

It is worth noting that Sony is the most advanced company in the world in the segment of sensors and cameras. Their development are used in vast number of smart phones and cameras, produced by big-name manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung, as well as less well-known companies.