Toshiba Corp is considering an initial public offering in Switzerland for energy metering company Landis+Gyr AG by the end of September, raising much-needed cash to bankroll its turnaround.
Landis+Gyr, which makes gear to track household power consumption, is one of several assets Toshiba has put up for sale as it tries to make up for multibillion dollar losses at its Westinghouse nuclear energy unit. The company selected a Japanese-led group last month as preferred bidders for its prized memory chip business.
An IPO on the SIX Swiss Exchange is one of several options on the table and a sale of the business remained an alternative, the Japanese company said in a stock exchange filing yesterday. Toshiba was said to have courted acquisition bids for the Swiss subsidiary, which had been expected to fetch about $2bn. CVC Capital Partners and Hitachi Ltd had made a joint offer to buy Landis+Gyr from Toshiba and Innovation Network Corp of Japan, according to a person familiar with the matter.
“No decisions have been made with regard to either the IPO or the dual-track potential trade sale,” Landis+Gyr chief executive officer Richard Mora said on a call with journalists. “We have a significant amount of interest with regard to Landis+Gyr, both on the trade sale and on the IPO as well.”
Toshiba is selling assets to contend with the bankruptcy of its Westinghouse nuclear business, which may result in a loss of as much as ¥1.01tn ($9.2bn) for the year that ended in March. Toshiba, slated for demotion to the second board of the Tokyo stock exchange, now has until the end of March 2018 to shore up its balance sheet or face delisting.
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