Memory loss: Toshiba puts chip biz up for sale

Hardware dump will help pay costs from failed energy venture

Toshiba says it will sell off its memory semiconductor business as it looks to recuperate from the write-off of losses to its nuclear power business.

The Japanese electronics giant said on Friday that it wants to flog its flash chips and SSD divisions of its storage and electronic devices solutions company by March 31 of this year. Toshiba will retain the imaging sensors branch.

According to Toshiba's latest quarterly report, the storage and electronic devices division accounted for roughly $6.9bn in net sales.

The sale will be part of an effort to compensate for the expected losses Toshiba will take when it writes off an acquisition deal for construction company CB&I Stone & Webster.

Toshiba's Westinghouse Electric Company subsidiary entered into a deal to acquire the construction company, which specializes in nuclear power projects, in 2015 as part of Toshiba's push into the nuclear power space.

Late last year, word surfaced that the complex deal had fallen through and Toshiba stood to lose billions of dollars. To compensate for that write-off, Toshiba will be forced to shed one of its more valuable assets: the memory chip company.

"Given the possibility of a loss on impairment, Toshiba Group needs to enhance its financial structure, and the company is considering various capital measures," Toshiba said of the decision.

"In this company split, the company is considering an injection of third-party capital as a financial measure."

Toshiba says it hopes to iron out the details of the transaction by late February. ®


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