Toshiba Denies PC Business Sale, but Sells TV Business

Just as we were going to press, there was a story from Nikkei that reported that Toshiba was in talks with Asustech (Asus) to sell its PC division, although Lenovo was also said to be interested. Lenovo has already acquired NEC’s PC business in Japan and has agreed to buy the Fujitsu business. Toshiba is reported to be selling around 1.8 million PCs per year., but is operating at a loss that is forecast to be increasing.

Toshiba subsequently denied the report and said that a) it had not decided to sell the business and b) it was not in discussions with any individual company.

However, Hisense of China has done a deal with Toshiba to buy the TV business, in the form of Toshiba Visual Solutions Corporation. Hisense will buy 95% of the organisation, which has 700 employees, for ¥12.9 billion ($115m) and Toshiba will retain 5%. The company will have a licence to use the Toshiba brand for forty years in “Europe, South East Asia and other markets”. As well as the market rights, Hisense will get two factories in Japan and a substantial range of ip in image quality and acoustics.

The companies hope to complete the deal by February 2018.


Analyst Comment

The PC business sale is interesting. Although Toshiba has denied it, the nature of the denial is such that it might mean that it is still considering a sale, even though it hasn’t yet decided to do so. Equally, it may not be in talks with potential buyers, but its advisers or a third party might be.

The TV business sale is no surprise as the deal between Sharp and Hisense has gone very sour. At the moment, Vestel has the rights to Toshiba TV sales in Europe, but clearly didn’t make as good an offer as Hisense. (BR)