Business / Corporate

Toshiba completes sale of U.S. LNG business to Total

Kyodo

Toshiba Corp. said Monday that the sale of its liquefied natural gas operation in the United States to oil giant Total SA of France was finished, relieving it of a risky asset as it continues to restructure.

Toshiba, which announced the deal in June, sold Toshiba America LNG Corp. for $15 million Friday after judging that the plan to procure U.S.-made LNG for Japanese utilities was unlikely to achieve profitability as LNG prices have sunk.

With the sale, Toshiba is expected to book a loss of around ¥90 billion ($847 million) for the fiscal year to March. It also plans to pay the French energy company $815 million to take on contracts to which Toshiba had committed.

In 2013 Toshiba said it had signed a deal with a U.S. firm to secure the rights to process U.S.-produced gas into 2.2 million tons of LNG annually over 20 years from 2019.

The sale of the LNG business to the Singapore affiliate of Total comes after Chinese chemical-maker ENN Ecological Holdings Co. scrapped a plan to buy it after the deal failed to receive early approval from U.S. and Chinese regulators.

Toshiba is continuing to revamp itself following an accounting fraud scandal that broke in 2015 and the bankruptcy of U.S. nuclear power subsidiary Westinghouse Electric Co. in 2017.

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