• Kyodo News


Toshiba Corp. is looking for about ¥500 billion in capital to turn itself around by rebuilding semiconductor and other ailing operations in need of massive investment, industry sources said Saturday.

The ailing electronics giant will work out the specifics of the fundraising methods later, but it is believed to be seeking ¥300 billion in a public stock offering, and another ¥200 billion by selling subordinated bonds to banks and other financial institutions by September, the sources said.

Toshiba is expecting a ¥350 billion group net loss for fiscal 2008 ended March 31.

In January, it originally forecast a net loss of ¥280 billion after logging a year-earlier profit of ¥127.41 billion. But that quickly changed, and the upcoming figure could be Toshiba’s biggest loss ever and its first in seven years.

Toshiba’s shareholders’ equity at the end of March was ¥450 billion, less than half of what it was a year ago, and its capital-to-asset ratio is expected to drop sharply from 17.2 percent to 8.2 percent.

The ¥500 billion capital boost would return its financial condition to about what it was at the end of March 2008.

At a news conference Friday, Toshiba Corporate Executive Vice President Fumio Muraoka did not rule out the possibility of applying for a state-sponsored rehabilitation program to restore its financial health.

But for the time being, the company apparently wants to go it alone, with the hope of reinforcing its competitiveness through prompt implementation of measures to strengthen its foundations.

In a grim sign, however, the major capital buildup will likely be accompanied by thousands of job cuts.

At the news conference, Toshiba said it will cut an extra 3,900 temporary jobs by March 2010 to deal with fiscal 2008’s widening group net loss. It slashed 4,500 nonregular workers between January and March.

The world’s No. 2 maker of NAND flash memory used in cell phones and digital music players is one of many semiconductor makers struggling to ride out a severe slump in the global chip industry.

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