Toshiba of Japan is preparing to conclude its 74-year stock market history.
Toshiba, one of Japan’s oldest and largest corporations, is likely to end its 74-year stock market existence after a group of investors purchased a majority interest.
A consortium led by private equity firm Japan Industrial Partners (JIP) has purchased 78.65% of the company’s shares, according to the announcement.
With more than two-thirds of the company, the consortium may clinch a $14 billion (£11.4 billion) plan to take it private.
The company began in 1875 as a manufacturer of clocks and mechanical dolls.
According to the agreement, its stock might be delisted as early as the end of this year.
Toshiba’s president and chief executive officer, Taro Shimada, said in a statement that the business “will now take a major step toward a new future with a new shareholder.”
Toshiba’s stock began trading in May 1949, when the Tokyo Stock Exchange reopened following Japan’s recovery from World War Two (WW2).
Its divisions vary from home electronics to nuclear power plants, and it was a symbol of the country’s economic recovery and technology economy for decades following WWII.
However, the Tokyo-based firm has suffered a series of big setbacks in recent years.
“Toshiba’s disaster is the result of poor corporate governance at the top,” Gerhard Fasol, CEO of business consulting firm Eurotechnology Japan, told the BBC.
In 2015, it acknowledged to overstating profits by more than $1 billion over six years and paid a 7.37 billion yen ($47 million; £38 million) punishment, the largest in the country’s history at the time.
It reported substantial losses at its US nuclear power unit, Westinghouse, two years later, taking a 700 billion yen writedown.
To avoid bankruptcy, it sold its memory chip business, which was regarded as the crown jewel in the company’s portfolio, in 2018.
Toshiba has received multiple buyout approaches since then, including one in 2021 from UK private equity firm CVC Capital Partners, which it has refused.
The corporation was discovered to have cooperated with the Japanese government to stifle the interests of foreign investors the same year.
“Toshiba, in the eyes of many Japanese people and especially the government, is a national treasure, which is part of the problem,” Mr Fasol explained.
The corporation then revealed plans to split into three distinct firms. Within months, the board of directors announced that the corporation would instead be divided into two entities.
Before implementing the revised separation plan, the business’s board stated that it was contemplating JIP’s offer to take the company private.