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Thursday, March 17, 2016
Toshiba Invests In New Memory Fabrication Facility, Sells 5.9 billion Assets And its Home Appliance Business

Toshiba announced a $5.9 billion asset sale and a big investment in its memory chip business on Thursday, along with the sale to Midea of a majority interest in its home appliance business.

However, the Japanese company also saw is shares shares to slide on a report that U.S. authorities were investigating accounting related to its Westinghouse nuclear power unit.

The electronics conglomerate has been eager to put last year's $1.3 billion accounting scandal behind it and move on with streamlining its bloated businesses.

Focus on memory

Toshiba's board of directors, meeting today, has decided on a construction and equipment investment plan for a new fabrication facility for expanded production of BiCS FLASH, its proprietary 3D flash memory, on land adjacent to the Yokkaichi Operations memory production complex in Mie prefecture.

Production of BiCS FLASH requires a new clean room with dedicated equipment for the 3D process. The New Fab 2 building, which will be fully completed in the first half of FY2016, will initially provide this space. In order to meet future growth in demand for flash memory, Toshiba needs to construct an additional clean room for 3D flash memories.

Toshiba has decided to invest approximately 360 billion yen ($3.2 billion) over three years to build a new semiconductor facility in Japan.on a new fabrication facility. Precise decisions on the construction schedule and facility investment for the new facility will be made in FY2016, in line with market trends, with production expected no earlier than CY2018. Toshiba expects to continue its JV operation with SanDisk in expanding BiCS FLASH capacity in the new facility.

Sale of Home Appliance Business

Tohshiba also said that it had agreed to sell its white goods business, which had revenue of 225 billion yen in the past financial year, to China's Midea Group Co Ltd.

The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding. Under the envisaged agreement and upon completion of the transaction, Midea will continue to develop, manufacture and market white goods, such as refrigerators, washing machines, vacuum cleaners and other small domestic appliances under the Toshiba brand name.

Sale of Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation

Toshiba is also selling its its medical equipment unit. The company has already sold Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation (TMSC), and has transferred all shares of TMSC.

Toshiba has signed share transfer and related agreements with Canon Inc. (Canon). However, TMSC will only become a subsidiary of
Canon when Canon receives clearance from the authorities regulating competition law in key countries.

Rival bidder for TMCS Fujifilm Holdings issued a statement complaining that the way in which Toshiba handled the sale had made a mockery of anti-monopoly laws, although it declined to comment on whether it would be taking legal action.

U.S. probe

And while Toshiba is trying to collect funds to focus its resources on its pillar businesses - semiconductors and nuclear power - U.S. authorities are reporteddly opening a case on the company.

According to a Bloomberg report, the U.S. Justice Department and Securities Exchange Commission is looking into the possibility of accounting fraud related to U.S.-based Westinghouse, Toshiba's nuclear power unit.

Toshiba has not commented on the report yet.

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