Toshiba Plans Board Meeting to Discuss Buyout Offer; Shares Rise

·2-min read

(Bloomberg) -- Toshiba Corp. is planning a board meeting Thursday to discuss the buyout offer by a group led by private equity firm Japan Industrial Partners Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.

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A special committee dedicated to vetting the takeover bid will make recommendations ahead of the meeting, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. There’s a chance directors could proceed with a vote, the people said. Should the board agree to accept the offer, an announcement could come as soon as Thursday, the people said.

The company’s shares climbed as much as 3% in early Tokyo trading on Thursday, while Japan’s benchmark Topix index fell as much as 2.2%.

Toshiba doesn’t disclose the date of board meetings or the content of deliberations, a representative said in response to a Bloomberg News query. The company is assessing the proposal from the JIP-led consortium along with other strategic options and nothing has been decided at the moment, while the firm will announce any board decision once a final conclusion is made, the representative said.

Toshiba in February received a buyout offer led by JIP which values the 148-year-old company at about ¥2 trillion ($15.1 billion), and which includes bank financing worth about ¥1.4 trillion. Shares of Toshiba have fallen about 11% this year, valuing the firm at about $13 billion.

If approved by shareholders, a deal would mark the culmination of a saga that has pitted Toshiba’s management against vocal foreign investors for years in a test case for how Japanese companies are run. Talks to bring international buyout firms on as equity investors have stalled and the bidding group led by JIP presently includes domestic firms, Bloomberg News reported last month.

--With assistance from Tom Redmond.

(Updates with Thursday’s stock move in third paragraph)

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