TOKYO – Toshiba’s stock trading was halted on Wednesday after the Tokyo-based tech conglomerate confirmed it had received a preliminary acquisition proposal. Toshiba Corp. 6502, -3.04% said Tuesday that it had asked for more details on the proposal, was considering it “carefully” and would make an announcement “in due course.”
The major Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported that CVC Capital Partners was looking to acquire the company for 2 trillion yen ($ 18 billion). CVC is an international private equity and credit company, which has committed nearly $ 162 billion in funds, managing more than 300 investors. He declined to comment. Toshiba, founded in 1875, was long revered as one of Japan’s most pristine brands, developing the country’s first radar and microwaves, electric rice cookers, and laptop computers. He also invented flash memory, the ubiquitous computer chips that store and retain data for digital cameras, cell phones, and other devices. Toshiba no longer makes laptops and has sold its computer chip division. In recent years, he has been haunted by ethical issues and has been mired in scandals. In 2015, Toshiba acknowledged that it had been systematically falsifying its books since 2008, as managers tried to meet overly ambitious targets. An outside investigation found that profits had been inflated and massive expenses had been concealed. It made large investments in nuclear energy. But after the March 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima, business costs skyrocketed due to growing safety concerns and bitter sentiment toward nuclear power in countries like Germany. After Toshiba acquired Westinghouse in 2006 with much fanfare, the US nuclear unit declared bankruptcy in 2017. Toshiba is now tasked with dismantling nuclear plants in Japan, including the one at Fukushima, where critical damage from the tsunami triggered the collapse of the reactors.