Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Toshiba: Japan's faded titan selling the family silver
Tokyo (AFP) Sept 14, 2017

At a train station used by hundreds of workers at struggling Japanese electronics giant Toshiba, an advert is apparently trying to poach staff worried by their employer's precarious financial position.

"Do you work for 'that' electronics company? If so, come and work for us!" screamed the ad for Toyota.

The mere fact Toshiba staff are apparently being urged to jump ship by rivals underscores the difficulties suffered by the former industrial titan.

Strapped for cash, the firm is soon expected to be forced to sell off part of the family silver -- its key memory chip business, which accounts for around a quarter of its total annual revenue.

Toshiba has been stuck in tortuous negotiations over selling the segment, which could raise as much as $20 billion.

Three parties have been vying for the prize: a US-South Korean consortium led by investment fund Bain Capital, Toshiba's US chip factory partner Western Digital and Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision, better known as Foxconn.

On Wednesday, Toshiba said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Bain consortium but this did not prevent them still talking to others.

Selling the profitable chip division is seen as key to Toshiba's survival, as one of Japan's best-known firms battles to recover from multi-billion-dollar losses at its US nuclear operations.

It could also face the humiliating prospect of being delisted from Japan's stock exchange if the sale does not raise the sufficient funds.

- Fall from grace -

The move to sell represents something of a fall from grace for Toshiba, which can trace its history back as far as 1875 when the company set up a telegraph factory in the now swanky area of Ginza in Tokyo.

In the 1930s, the firm manufactured the first Japanese vacuum cleaner, the first fridge and the first washing machine, which still works today -- albeit with an almighty racket.

It has been involved in the manufacture of an astonishing array of items from tiny electronic chips to nuclear reactors, with everything from televisions, computers and highway toll gates in between.

But Toshiba is not the only once-mighty Japanese conglomerate to feel the pain from ferocious foreign competition.

Household names Panasonic and NEC have been forced into major restructuring, and Sharp was acquired by Foxconn.

Toshiba's problems stem in large part from what Yasuyuki Onishi, a specialist in the sector, described as its "reckless" purchase of US nuclear unit Westinghouse, which racked up billions of dollars in losses before being placed in bankruptcy protection.

This is the "main cause of the crisis that the group is suffering", Onishi told AFP.

Those huge losses came to light as the group was still recovering from revelations that top company executives had pressured underlings to cover up weak results for years after the 2008 global financial meltdown.

Its most recent results published in August revealed a loss of $8.8 billion in the last fiscal year, although it predicted it would be back in the black this year.

- 'Pothole in the road' -

But most analysts believe Toshiba is too important to fail.

Tokyo is believed to be unwilling to lose sensitive technology, with security questions swirling over systems already using Toshiba's memory chips, which are widely used in data centres.

The government also needs the company to take care of the painstaking task of decommissioning reactors at the Fukushima plant crippled by the 2011 tsunami.

Toshiba could end up becoming "just a company that dismantles Japanese nuclear plants", mused Onishi.

"Toshiba will avoid bankruptcy for now but it will shrink and end up disappearing," said the expert.

Masahiko Ishino, an analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Center, said the sale was designed to help Toshiba meet temporary funding difficulties.

It will "fill in a pot-hole in the road", he said, arguing also that the speculated price tag is too cheap.

"The business is a magic hat out of which comes 500 billion yen (of operating profit) every year," he said.

"It's like a huge property is being bequeathed. Everyone is trying to get a bigger share."

Flip-flop qubits: Radical new quantum computing design invented
Sydney, Australia (SPX) Sep 07, 2017
Engineers at Australia's University of New South Wales have invented a radical new architecture for quantum computing, based on novel 'flip-flop qubits', that promises to make the large-scale manufacture of quantum chips dramatically cheaper - and easier - than thought possible. The new chip design, detailed in the journal Nature Communications, allows ... read more

Related Links
Computer Chip Architecture, Technology and Manufacture
Nano Technology News From

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Crewed Missions Beyond LEO

Three astronauts blast off for five-month ISS mission

NASA Offers Space Station as Catalyst for Discovery in Washington

Voyager Spacecraft: 40 Years of Solar System Discoveries

Rocket fever launches UB students to engineering competition in New Mexico

Arianespace announces a new contract, bringing its order book to 53 launches across three rockets

EUMETSAT signs with Arianespace for first Metop-SG satellite launch

MHI to launch first Inmarsat-6 satellite

45 Kilometers on the Odometry for Opportunity

Discovery of boron on Mars adds to evidence for habitability

New tools for exploring the surface of Mars

NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover Climbing Toward Ridge Top

China, Russia to Have Smooth Space Cooperation, Says Expert

Kuaizhou-11 to send six satellites into space

Russia, China May Sign 5-Year Agreement on Joint Space Exploration

ESA and Chinese astronauts train together

ASTROSCALE Raises a Total of $25 Million in Series C Led by Private Companies

LISA Pathfinder: bake, rattle and roll

Bids for government funding prove strong interest in LaunchUK

Blue Sky Network Reaffirms Commitment to Brazilian Market

Two new satellites now operational to expand US space situational awareness

Ultrathin spacecraft will collect, deposit orbital debris

192 Indian space objects currently in orbit

New microscopy method for quick and reliable 3-D imaging of curvilinear nanostructures

X-Rays Reveal Temperament of Possible Planet-Hosting Stars

Does the Organic Material of Comets Predate our Solar System?

X-rays Reveal Temperament of Possible Planet-hosting Stars

Could TRAPPIST-1's Seven Earth-size Planets Have Gas Giant Siblings

Jupiter's Auroras Present a Powerful Mystery

Pluto features given first official names

New Horizons Files Flight Plan for 2019 Flyby

Hibernation Over, New Horizons Continues Kuiper Belt Cruise

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement