Revamped Toshiba bid draws proposals from 10 companies

© Kyodo News

Toshiba Corp. said Friday 10 companies, including investment funds, have shown interest in submitting strategic proposals, such as potential privatization, as the Japanese industrial conglomerate solicits management ideas from potential partners.

The 10 companies have already submitted a confidentiality pledge to Toshiba to gain access to specific information about the company's finance and businesses, Toshiba said in a statement.

Under intense pressure from foreign activist shareholders, the company said in April it would solicit strategic proposals, including a potential buyout after shareholders rejected its reform plan.

According to people familiar with the matter, the 10 firms that have shown interest include Japanese and overseas funds.

Toshiba, a household name in Japan with a nearly 150-year history, said the deadline for submitting nonbinding proposals is May 30. The firm will then narrow down the proposals after its shareholders' meeting in late June.

On Friday, Toshiba also forwent announcing its board director nominations ahead of its shareholders' meeting, saying it needed more time to make a decision.

The company said the same day its net profit for fiscal 2021 ended March rose 70.8 percent from a year earlier to 194.65 billion yen ($1.5 billion), helped by the brisk performance of its semiconductor and energy businesses. Its sales grew 9.3 percent to 3.34 trillion yen.

Toshiba has been facing growing uncertainty after its shareholders opposed the company's plan in March to split into two listed firms to improve corporate value and appease shareholders disgruntled by lackluster efforts to boost growth.

Since the extraordinary shareholders' meeting on March 24, where the plan was rejected, U.S. investment fund Bain Capital has shown interest in acquiring Toshiba, sources familiar with the matter said.