Japan’s Toshiba president steps down amid buyout offer

Resignation comes after acquisition proposal by British firm triggers opposition by board members

Riyaz Ul Khaliq   | 14.04.2021
Japan’s Toshiba president steps down amid buyout offer


Japan’s giant conglomerate Toshiba on Wednesday witnessed crisis after its president stepped down following a buyout proposal from a British firm.

According to Kyodo News Agency, Toshiba said President and CEO Nobuaki Kurumatani, 63, resigned at a board meeting today. Chairman Satoshi Tsunakawa will look after his post.

His resignation came days after British private equity firm CVC Capital Partners forwarded to the giant Japanese conglomerate an acquisition offer.

The offer triggered an internal conflict, forcing Kurumatani to step down.

Toshiba, the Japanese multinational conglomerate headquartered in Tokyo, has its businesses spread across diversified products and services including in power, industrial, social infrastructure systems, nuclear and defense sectors, later clarified that it currently “sees CVC’s buyout offer as impossible.”

Kurumatani was in past CVC’s Japan unit head. He joined Toshiba in 2018, starting with drastic reforms in the conglomerate.

The purchase offer was seen as a conflict of interest move under Kurumatani who in past had links with the CVC.

Toshiba is under pressure from foreign activist investors who are seeking more transparent management. Several board members opposed the move to fully privatize the conglomerate.

The cost of Toshiba would be around $18 billion but requires review and screening by the Japanese government for national security reasons given Toshiba’s businesses in nuclear power and defense sectors.

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