Sat, Apr 15, 2017 - Page 11 News List

Toshiba shares climb on Apple investment report


Toshiba Corp shares recovered after Japanese national broadcaster NHK reported that Apple Inc is considering an investment of several billion US dollars in its semiconductor unit, raising the prospect that the struggling electronics conglomerate will get a much-needed cash infusion.

Toshiba has put its memory chip business up for sale to make up for a ¥716.6 billion (US$6.58 billion) write-down in its US nuclear equipment operations.

One option being considered is an investment accompanied by Toshiba holding shares, so that a majority of the semiconductor unit would be held by US and Japanese interests, satisfying the respective governments, NHK said.

Toshiba spokesman Yukihito Uchida declined to comment on Apple’s involvement and the NHK report.

Toshiba shares closed down 5.4 percent in Tokyo, after declining as much as 8.1 percent during morning trade. The stock is down about 29 percent this year.

While Toshiba has been narrowing the field of interested buyers, there are also signs the process is being put on hold after joint venture partner Western Digital Corp warned a sale might violate a contract it has with Toshiba.

An Apple bid would also add another layer of complexity, given its large cash position and influence as the maker of iPhones.

Toshiba has narrowed the original group of contenders for the chip business after a first round of bidding.

Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) has indicated its willingness to pay as much as ¥3 trillion for the unit, Bloomberg has reported.

Hon Hai could take a stake of about 30 percent stake and have parties including Apple and Japanese companies also invest in the chip company, in order to address Japanese government concerns about loss of technology overseas, NHK reported.

Hon Hai has asked Softbank Group Corp for help with its bid for the chip business, the Nikkei reported yesterday.

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