Sharp is acquiring Toshiba’s PC business. Reuters/Toru Hanai

Sharp Corp. is preparing to make a comeback in the PC market after withdrawing from it eight years ago. The Japanese firm is reportedly looking to acquire Toshiba Corp.’s computer business.

Nikkei learned Tuesday that Sharp is planning to acquire Toshiba’s struggling computer business for 4 billion yen or US$36 million. Sharp is reportedly seeking to purchase an 80 percent stake in Toshiba Client Solutions and leaving the remainder to Toshiba.

The deal would benefit both parties since Toshiba is also looking to shed unprofitable operations as it undergoes a major restructuring. Sharp would also do Toshiba a favor because the latter’s PC business has declined 13 percent on year in fiscal 2017 and recorded an operating loss of 9.6 billion yen (US$87 million) from last year’s 500 million yen (US$4 million).

Toshiba is known for being the first company to commercialize laptop computers in 1985. For a time, it had the world-leading market share in the industry thanks to its Dynabook line. However, its rivals, such as China’s Lenovo Group, have surpassed its growth in the recent years. In addition, the PC market overall has downsized as more consumers turn to smartphones and tablets.

Toshiba started shedding its money-losing businesses last year when its U.S. nuclear subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric Co., filed for bankruptcy. It sold its television and appliance business to Chinese companies. It also sold its medical-equipment business to Canon Inc., according to The Wall Street Journal.

Then just last week, Toshiba sold its flash-memory semiconductor business to a consortium led by Bain Capital, a U.S. private-equity firm. However, it did not let go of its cash cow entirely. The deal allows Toshiba to retain a 40 percent stake.

It’s not surprising that Sharp is planning to return to the PC scene. The company is now under the umbrella of Foxconn aka Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., the Taiwanese firm that’s been efficiently producing PCs in large volumes for American brands such as Dell. Sharp previously made a mark in the PC industry through its Mebius label, but it is not planning to revive it. It is instead going to use the Toshiba brand for its comeback.