Toshiba said on Thursday a takeover offer by private equity firm Japan Industrial Partners and allies has won control of the group.
The JIP consortium, said to include 17 Japanese firms and six local banks, made a tender offer for 78.65% of Toshiba shares that was valued at $13.5 billion (about 2 trillion yen).
The deal will allow the vast Japanese industrial conglomerate – one of the country’s oldest and biggest companies, which makes a diverse range of products from electronics to power stations – to become a private entity.
It also puts the group back in domestic hands, after years of scandals, financial turmoil and battles with foreign activist shareholders.
Toshiba had initially accepted the buyout bid back in March, but some investors were unhappy with the price offered. The company later said there was no prospect of a higher offer or a competing bid.
Although not well known abroad, JIP has been a major player in big moves by corporate Japan. That includes spin-offs for Olympus’s camera business, and Sony’s laptop unit.
New owners looking for a fresh start as a private entity
Toshiba hopes that a stable ownership structure will now afford it a fresh start, given it has been battered by one controversy after another since 2015.
That includes scandals over accounting and corporate governance. It also suffered heavy losses and came close to being delisted.
The JIP-led consortium now taking charge features multiple Japanese firms, including chipmaker Rohm and financial services firm Orix.
“Toshiba Group will now take a major step toward a new future with a new shareholder,” chief executive Taro Shimada said in a statement on Thursday.
Toshiba’s largest shareholder, TBJH Inc, is due to take control on September 27, but that move needs to be endorsed by shareholders, at a meeting scheduled in November.
Toshiba will then delist from Tokyo Stock Exchange prior to the end of the year, after more than seven decades as a listed company.
Toshiba has been a manufacturer of personal computers, consumer electronics appliances and medical equipment. It has developed a diverse range of products and industrial systems, from elevators and escalators, to semiconductors, hard-disk drives, printers, batteries and more.
- Reuters with additional reporting and editing by Jim Pollard