Toshiba starts process to sell stake in chip business, says report

A logo of Toshiba Corp is seen behind a red light signal outside an electronics retail store in Tokyo, Japan on Jan 19, 2017.
A logo of Toshiba Corp is seen behind a red light signal outside an electronics retail store in Tokyo, Japan on Jan 19, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Toshiba Corp has started the process to sell a minority stake in its profitable flash memory chip business, expecting to fetch several billion dollars as it faces a bigger-than-expected writedown for its US nuclear business, Kyodo News reported.

European private equity fund Permira and US fund Bain Capital are interested in the bid for what is expected to be the sale of 20-30 percent of the memory chip business, which Toshiba is expected to split off, Kyodo said, citing sources.

Earlier this week, the troubled conglomerate confirmed it was discussing a spin-off of its memory chips business, but that nothing had been decided yet.

Toshiba's financial crisis deepened as media reported it may unveil a bigger-than-expected US$6 billion (S$8.56 billion) writedown for its US nuclear business, driving its shares down 16 per cent on Thursday.

The shares extended their loses on Friday (Jan 20), opening down 6.3 per cent at 227.1 yen.