Toshiba Panel Has Evaluated Privatization, Board Undecided

(Bloomberg) — Toshiba Corp. said its panel exploring strategic alternatives has considered the possibility of taking the troubled conglomerate private, though the board of directors is undecided on the matter.

The board “has not yet decided on the most appropriate course of action and is continuing to explore feasible strategic alternatives,” the company said Wednesday in a statement. The panel has been engaged in active dialogue with potential investors, and the board believes focus should be on understanding investors’ approach to enhancing corporate value and resolving “multiple issues” related to a potential privatization, the company said.

Toshiba started weighing strategic options in May after years of scandal and allegations of mismanagement. In June, shareholders voted to oust Chairman of the Board Osamu Nagayama in a rare triumph for activist investors seeking fundamental reform.

Once a storied name in Japan, Toshiba has faded dramatically after years of management missteps. It paid a record fine in an accounting scandal and then lost billions on a bungled foray into nuclear power. The conglomerate invented flash memory three decades ago, but was forced to sell most of its prized chip business in 2018 because of losses in its nuclear-power operation.

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