Toshiba delisted after 74 years on the Tokyo Stock Exchange

Seventy-four years since its inception, Toshiba bid farewell to the Tokyo Stock Exchange marking the end of an illustrious chapter.

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FILE PHOTO: The logo of Toshiba Corporation is displayed at the company's building in Tokyo, Japan, April 5, 2023. REUTERS/Androniki Christodoulou/File Photo

Once a global electronics juggernaut and a symbol of Japan’s technological prowess, Toshiba, historically referred to as Japan Inc, navigated a turbulent path fraught with financial scandals and strategic shifts.

In 2015, Toshiba’s woes unfolded with the revelation of accounting malpractices, culminating in a profit overstatement of $1.59 billion over seven years. Concurrently in 2020, additional accounting irregularities surfaced, accompanied by allegations of poor corporate governance and neglect of shareholder rights.

The predicament intensified toward the end of 2016; Toshiba itself basically contracted to accept financial responsibility for Westinghouse Electric’s investment in building a nuclear power plant. Three months later Westinghouse went bankrupt, and Toshiba found itself thrown into crisis with its own nuclear business on the verge of collapse. With liabilities running upwards of $ 6 billion the situation demanded divestments, including segments encompassing mobile phones, medical systems, and white goods.

In the face of prolonged battles with activist shareholders, Toshiba contemplated a full-scale private takeover following a $5.4 billion cash injection in 2017 to avert forced delisting.

By June 2022, Toshiba entertained eight buyout proposals, ultimately greenlighting a $14 billion takeover led by Japan Investment Corp (JIC) and a consortium of Japanese investors. The new custodians, particularly JIP, aspire to realign Toshiba towards high-margin digital services, drawing inspiration from past successes in similar ventures.

The delisting of Toshiba raises pertinent questions about the fate of its nearly 106,000-strong workforce and the implications for operations critical to national defence. The once-mighty electronics giant finds itself at a pivotal juncture as it embarks under a new Japanese stewardship.

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