Toshiba decides against $20b buyout offer from CVC, says open to “credible” offers

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Toshiba Corp is seen behind a traffic signal at its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan January 27, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

Toshiba Corp. has decided against evaluating a $20 billion buyout offer from CVC Capital Partners, saying it lacked detail, while adding it was open to “credible” offers.

The Japanese conglomerate said a new letter from CVC, which previously offered to take the company private, did not provide the information needed for it to be able to evaluate the offer.

Instead, the company said the letter stated CVC “would step aside to await” Toshiba‘s guidance.

“This letter contained no specific and detailed information capable of detailed evaluation,” Toshiba said. “As this preliminary proposal lacks the required information the board has concluded it is not possible to evaluate it.”

It was unclear whether CVC’s letter meant it was backing away from its earlier offer. A representative for CVC in Japan declined to comment.

A Toshiba source said the letter meant CVC’s proposal was unlikely to proceed further, as the fund’s offer was unsolicited to begin with.

CVC’s proposal had sparked a strong backlash from Toshiba managers, prompting them to lobby the government and its lenders against it, sources have said.

Toshiba CEO Nobuaki Kurumatani resigned over the proposal from CVC, his former employer, amid criticism the offer, which promised to retain management, was partly designed to shield Kurumatani from activist shareholders.

Toshiba said it would continue to consider and evaluate any credible offers. But for now, “being a publicly-traded company provides a stable equity structure,” it said.

It also denied that Toshiba‘s current shareholder structure, with a large activist shareholder base, had aversely affected its corporate value.

Activist investors won a vote at an emergency shareholders’ meeting last month to establish an independent probe into whether management had previously pressured shareholders to support desired board nominations.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.