Business / Corporate

Toshiba mulls selling unprofitable domestic TV business

Kyodo, Staff Report

Toshiba Corp. is considering selling its unprofitable domestic television business in an effort to boost its financial standing, sources close to the matter said Monday.

The struggling electronics company, which is reeling from huge losses at its U.S. nuclear power business, is looking to sell the TV operation to companies in Turkey and China, the sources said.

The sale of the domestic business will mark Toshiba’s total withdrawal from TV manufacturing after the embattled company previously pulled out of production overseas.

Toshiba currently produces about 600,000 units of its Regza brand TV annually for the domestic market at its plant in Aomori Prefecture.

The company aims to advance talks with potential buyers on the condition that operations at the plant and employment are maintained. It may offer buyers the option of operating the TV division using the Toshiba brand.

Toshiba posted a group net loss of ¥10.5 billion on sales of ¥27.9 billion in the TV business in the first half ended September 2016. In November, the company said that it would overhaul the TV business as part of a broad restructuring plan.

Toshiba has been forced to sell a number of its businesses, both profitable and unprofitable, following an accounting scandal in 2015 and now issues with its U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse Electric Co.

The company sold its white goods and medical units last year and is now putting its flash memory business — a key money-maker — on the table to cover massive losses at Westinghouse., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. last month.

The TV business was at the center of the accounting scandal in 2015 that led the company to sell its TV plant in Indonesia and pull out of overseas TV production. Local firms in some countries are, however, still selling TVs under the Toshiba brand under a licensing deal.

The cash-strapped company said last month it could post a group net loss of ¥1.01 trillion for the fiscal year that ended March 31, the largest ever for a Japanese manufacturer, and also expects to fall into a negative net worth of ¥620 billion.

The deadline for Toshiba to announce its April-September business results is Tuesday, but it is still unclear whether the company will be able to keep to the deadline as it is still negotiating with its auditor.

Toshiba already postponed the announcement twice and a third delay would make it the first listed firm in Japan to do so.

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