LONDON – Toshiba Corp. is selling a $1 billion stake in Finnish elevator and escalator maker Kone Oyj as the Japanese group moves to bolster its balance sheet amid a probe into accounting irregularities.
Toshiba will sell about 24.2 million class-B shares in Kone, representing its entire holding of 4.6 percent of outstanding shares in the Helsinki-based company, Toshiba said in a statement on Tuesday. The stake, which is held by Toshiba Building and Elevator Services, will be sold to institutional investors in an accelerated book-build, the company said.
The Kone shares are being offered from €35.38 to their market price when the sale closes, according to a term sheet obtained by Bloomberg. Based on Tuesday’s closing price of €38.05 the stake is worth about €920 million ($1 billion). UBS Group AG is managing the sale.
Toshiba President Hisao Tanaka and his two predecessors quit on Tuesday after investigators found that the Japanese company inflated earnings by at least $1.2 billion since the global financial crisis.
Along with Tanaka, his predecessors, Vice Chairman Norio Sasaki and adviser Atsutoshi Nishida, also resigned to take responsibility for accounting irregularities that occurred under their watch. The Tokyo-based company said it will correct earnings by at least ¥152 billion, based on the results of an independent investigation of its books stretching back about six years.
Stakeholders in Europe have raised about $80 billion in additional share sales this year, taking advantage of investor appetite to exit stakes in listed businesses including Banco Santander SA and London Stock Exchange Group PLC.
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