Toshiba in advanced talks with Vestel to sell TV business

Cash-strapped Toshiba looks set to offload its TV business to recoup funds lost by its now-bankrupt nuclear unit Westinghouse. Turkish electronics maker Vestel has confirmed that it is in ‘advanced talks’ with the Japanese firm about acquiring the television brank of Toshiba Corp. With a number of Chinese investors also said to be interested, the sale is expected to fetch hundreds of millions of US dollars. But don’t expect a sale anytime soon with Toshiba announcing that it doesn’t expect to dot the Is and cross the Ts until next March.

With a licensing agreement to produce Toshiba TVs in Europe, Vestel’s standing relationship with Toshiba looks to have put them at the front of the queue. Other potential buyers include Chinese firm the Hisense Group. Much like its failed nuclear arm, Toshiba’s 57-year-old TV business has been struggling with sales made from April to September 2016 down 42% year-on-year.

Last week, Toshiba received its first official offer for its profitable chip-manufacturing unit. US private equity firm Silver Lake Partners has joint forces with US chip manufacturer Broadcom to present Toshiba with a $17.9 billion offer for its profitable chip unit. About 10 bidders are said to be weighing up an offer, but as it stands a Silver Lake-Broadcom deal is the only official bid to be made.

Among the other potential suitors, Western Digital Corp are said to be in advanced talks with Toshiba. The firms already work closely together with WDC operating a chip plant with Toshiba in Japan. Micron Technology are also said to be weighing up an offer, while Toshiba may hold out for a bid from South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix.

The multinational conglomerate first called in bankruptcy lawyers after missing an earnings deadline for a second time. They have now confirmed loses of $9.8 billion for its nuclear unit Westinghouse. This is largely down to an ill-fated purchase of a power plant construction firm in the US that has been haemorrhaging money. Filing for bankruptcy now allows the company the opportunity to renegotiate that contract or break it off completely. 

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