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Toshiba Preferred Bidder Taps Rohm, Suzuki for Funds

(Bloomberg) -- A consortium led by Japan Industrial Partners Inc. that is seeking to acquire Toshiba Corp. is in talks with about 20 potential co-investors to back its bid for the venerable industrial group, according to people familiar with the matter.

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Electronics company Rohm Co. is considering putting in about 100 billion yen ($715 million) in equity and around 200 billion yen in debt, mirroring a potential investment from financial services firm Orix Corp., the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.

Other iconic local businesses that may join the bidding group include carmaker Suzuki Motor Corp. and industrial conglomerate Iwatani Corp., which are weighing equity investments of about 25 billion yen and 10 billion yen respectively, the people said.

The JIP-led consortium already counts about 1 trillion yen in equity funding commitments for its proposed takeover of Toshiba, the people said. Other firms that are poised to join the bidding group include life insurance companies and investment funds, the people said. Japanese firms Orix and Chubu Eletric Power Co. have shown interest in joining the group, people familiar with the matter have said. International investors Baring Private Equity Asia and CVC Capital Partners, are also interested, Bloomberg News has reported.

The Nikkei newspaper reported Rohm and Suzuki’s interest in joining JIP’s bid earlier.

Talks are still ongoing and no final decisions have been made, the people said. Representatives for Iwatani, JIP and Suzuki declined to comment. A Rohm spokesperson told Bloomberg News it’s true the company is considering investing in Toshiba, though nothing has been decided on the amount.

Toshiba last week reported earnings for the second quarter ended Sept. 30, with operating income of 7.55 billion yen coming in below analyst estimates. The firm cut its operating income forecast for the full year.

JIP’s consortium, which is Toshiba’s preferred bidder, has been in talks with lenders about financing options and missed a deadline earlier this month, Bloomberg News has reported. It has been considering a takeover of Toshiba at a valuation of about 2.4 trillion yen, and is seeking about 1.4 trillion yen from banks, people familiar with the matter have said.

State-backed investment fund Japan Investment Corp. is leading a potential rival group to to acquire Toshiba. JIC has been in talks with Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry over financing and deal structures for a potential offer, people familiar with the matter have said.

--With assistance from Ryotaro Nakamaru, Yuki Furukawa and Nao Sano.

(Updates throughout with Iwatani, confirmation of Nikkei report.)

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