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Toshiba denies semicon spin off

Staffer who mooted it was not toeing company line. Allegedly

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Toshiba yesterday denied it is has plans to spin off its semiconductor business into a separate company. Suggesting that it might be considering such a move emerged last week when the general manager of the strategic planning division within Toshiba's semiconductor operation, Yoshihide Fujii, said: "I personally think the semiconductor company should be spun off from Toshiba as a legal entity." However, this week Toshiba was keen to point out that Fujii's comments were entirely his own and did not represent the company's official line. Still, it remains that fact Fujii's suggestion came hot on the heels of news from Siemens that its own spun-off semiconductor business, now known as Infineon, was gearing up for its IPO, perhaps as early as October. Given both Siemens and Toshiba have both had problems making their semiconductor operations pay their way, it's not unlikely Toshiba might well consider following Siemens' lead, and that it would use Fujii to test the market's reaction to such a programme. Certainly, his vision of a spun-off semiconductor company seemed rather detailed for a "personal opinion", as Toshiba would have it. ®

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