Toshiba has been struggling for some time now as issues at the company's Westinghouse unit threaten to pull down the entire company. Problems at the nuclear division have resulted in massive writedowns, Toshiba has already twice postponed the publication of its annual results and is expected to report one of the biggest losses in its corporate history.
In another major blow to nuclear energy, Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday but the trouble doesn't end there as Toshiba needs to raise money by selling a stake in its chip division, which contains its NAND flash memory crown jewel. Bloomberg reports investors are severely disgruntled but approved the plan to sell the memory chip division. Toshiba received bids or interest from about 10 parties and hopes to raise at least 2 trillion yen ($18 billion).
“Toshiba is now a laughing-stock to the whole world,” one shareholder said during a question-and-answer section, raising his voice. “I think all of you are incompetent as managers. Do you even know what’s happening?” Another shareholder addressed the executives as “trash.”
Shareholders green-lit the envisioned chip-division sale anyway. The company has said it’s received some offers for its NAND memory business, a sale of which should be enough to restore shareholder equity to positive by the end of the next fiscal year. Bids are due Thursday and about 10 companies are said to have expressed interest.
Toshiba is world's second-largest NAND flash memory chip maker.