Toshiba Corp. is considering spinning off its personal computers business and is in talks with Fujitsu Ltd. and Vaio Corp., the former PC unit of Sony Corp., to set up a joint PC manufacturing business, Japanese media reported Friday, citing sources.
Toshiba issued a statement later in the day, which said that while the Tokyo-headquartered company is considering restructuring options, it has made no announcement regarding its PC business and these reports were “not based on information provided by the company.”
Japanese electronics manufacturers Toshiba, Fujitsu and Vaio are in the early stages of exploring a combination and it is unclear whether a deal will be reached, local media reports said, citing people who declined to be named. The talks could mark Toshiba’s third divestment this year, following the sale of its image sensor unit in November and the splitting of its chip business in October.
While the basic agreement will be drawn out by the end of the year, the Nikkei Asian Review reported, citing sources, that Vaio would take over the operations of the other two companies, and will move all related personnel involved in development, manufacturing and sales.
The proposed combination would create Japan’s biggest PC business and the sixth-biggest in the world, according to Nikkei Asian Review.
Toshiba’s stock price fell 1.1 percent while Fujitsu’s stock shot up about 6 percent during morning trade before settling up 1 percent at the end of the day in Tokyo.
Pressure has mounted on Toshiba to shed unprofitable units after an accounting scandal at the electronics manufacturer early this year resulted in write-downs of about $1.3 billion and forced top management to resign. The Japanese conglomerate admitted it had been inappropriately inflating reported profits at several business units for years.
The scandal also landed Toshiba on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's so-called watch list, which means that the company is almost unable to raise funds by selling shares or bonds to foot the bill for its restructuring effort.
"We would consider selling every asset that is possible to sell," Toshiba Chief Executive Masashi Muromachi reportedly said at an analyst briefing in November.