TOKYO (Reuters) – Toshiba Corp plans to unveil a new business strategy on Friday. The once famous conglomerate has been hit by accounting scandals, massive write-downs on its US nuclear business, the sale of its valued chip unit, and a deal to prevent foreign investors from gaining influence.
Here is a timeline of Toshiba’s issues since 2015.
2015 – Toshiba discloses accounting errors in several departments that involved top management. Overall, it exaggerated its pre-tax profit by 230 billion yen ($ 2 billion) in seven years.
Dec. 2016 – Toshiba announces billions of dollars in charges related to a nuclear power plant construction company that bought its US unit Westinghouse Electric a year earlier.
March 2017 – Westinghouse files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection due to billions in cost overruns and years of delays in US energy projects. Toshiba decides to put its valuable chip unit, Toshiba Memory, up for sale with Westinghouse debt exceeding $ 6 billion.
Sept 2017 – Toshiba agrees to sell the chip unit for $ 18 billion to a consortium led by Bain Capital, a deal in which Toshiba retains a large stake. Toshiba fears the listing could be removed because liabilities exceed assets for the second year in a row, and is keen to close the deal by the end of the fiscal year in March. However, it is embroiled in an extended litigation with Chip joint venture partner Western Digital Corp over the sale, and antitrust reviews are expected to take months.
Dec. 2017 – Toshiba secures a $ 5.4 billion injection of cash from over 30 overseas investors to help avoid delisting but include prominent activist shareholders such as Elliott Management, Third Point and Farallon. She settles the dispute with Western Digital.
April 2018 – Toshiba attempts to turn a new page by bringing on an outsider – Nobuaki Kurumatani, a former executive of Toshiba’s main creditor Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group – as CEO.
June 2018 – Toshiba completes the sale of Toshiba Memory, renamed Kioxia, to the Bain Consortium.
June 2019 – Toshiba bowed to pressure from activist investors and invited four non-Japanese directors to its board of directors.
Jan 2020 – Toshiba discovers new accounting irregularities at a wholly owned subsidiary.
July 2020 – Five director candidates nominated by activist shareholders to change governance and strategy are rejected at Toshiba’s annual general meeting.
Sept. 2020 – Toshiba discloses more than 1,000 postal voting forms for its annual general meeting. The bank that counted the votes, Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, later revealed that it had been widespread for the past two decades not to count all valid votes at general meetings of its client firms.
March 2021 – Shareholders approve an independent investigation into allegations that investors were pressured ahead of last year’s general meeting.
April 2021 – CVC Capital Partners makes an unsolicited $ 21 billion offer to make Toshiba private. A week later, CEO Kurumatani resigns amid controversy over the CVC offer, which some within management believed was intended to protect him from activist shareholders. However, Toshiba’s subsequent rejection of the CVC offer angered some activist shareholders.
June 10, 2021 – The investigation commissioned by the shareholders concludes that Toshiba has colluded with the Japanese Ministry of Commerce – which Toshiba sees as a strategic asset due to its nuclear reactor and defense technology – to prevent foreign investors from entering the Annual General Meeting 2020 to gain influence.
June 25, 2021 – Shareholders oust CEO Osamu Nagayama after critics accused the board of failing to respond to allegations of pressuring foreign investors. Toshiba is committed to carrying out a full review of the assets and communicating with potential investors.
November 12, 2021 – Toshiba announces a new business strategy. It is considering splitting into three companies that focus separately on infrastructure, devices, and storage chips, which could fix the company’s ongoing conglomerate discount.
($ 1 = 113.5900 yen)
(Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)