Business news organizations' websites lit up February 14 with the news that Toshiba has taken a $6.3 billion writedown to its USA nuclear unit and made several executive changes, including the resignation of Chairman Shigenori Shiga as representative executive officer to take management responsibility for the loss.
He is quitting over the big losses related to the acquisition of CB&I Stone & Webster by its US nuclear unit, Westinghouse.
Toshiba, founded in 1875, employs about 190,000 people and used to be one of the most respected brands of Japan Inc. Known for its pioneering innovations in notebook computers and the flash memory chips that are ubiquitous in today's devices, Toshiba has struggled in recent years with the decline of its consumer business.
The latest writedown adds to the company's woes as it was trying to recover from a US$1.3 billion accounting scandal in 2015 that falsely boosted profits. Unfortunately, Toshiba pegged the "goodwill" booking at $87 million, but then restated the charges as "several billion USA dollars".
Toshiba was scheduled to release details of its writedown of its troubled United States nuclear business on Tuesday afternoon, followed by a press conference by its president, Satoshi Tsunakawa.
"We are considering various offers for the chips business and we will act flexibly - even if that means giving up a majority of the unit", Reuters reported CEO Satoshi Tsunakawa as saying.
As a result, shareholders' equity stood at negative 191.2 billion yen as of the end of December. You have now viewed your allowance of free articles. The figure was ¥100 billion more than reports earlier in the day when the company missed its own deadline for the release of the results yesterday. It didn't give details about the alleged pressure.
NuGen acknowledged the announcement that Toshiba's review into the future of its nuclear power business outside Japan is complete and that it remains committed to developing NuGen's Moorside Project.
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Then managers at the firm's U.S. subsidiary Westinghouse said that management was exerting "inappropriate pressure" regarding a business acquisition.
The threat to the industrial giant, which produces a range of products from consumer electronics to nuclear power, casts doubt on the project to build a new nuclear reactor in Moorside, Cumbria.
It has approached South Korean utility Korea Electric Power Corp about buying part of Toshiba's stake in British nuclear joint venture NuGeneration.
The acquisition was supposed to help Westinghouse complete nuclear reactor projects in Georgia and SC. The company ended up admitting that it take a $6.3 billion write down related to an acquisition made by its subsidiary, Westinghouse. Yet despite the severity of these issues, Toshiba has repeatedly failed to explain them in a timely manner.
By September, Toshiba had 360 billion yen in capital.
The delay in releasing results leaves the future of a planned £10bn nuclear plant at Moorside, near Sellafield in continuing doubt.
Toshiba attempted to sell some of the business but was unable to find buyers.
-Kosaku Narioka and Megumi Fujikawa contributed to this article.