Toshiba: in talks with four investment firms seeking tactical ideas

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At least four private equity companies, including KKR & Co (NYSE: KKR) Inc. and Blackstone (NYSE: BX) Inc., are in discussions with Toshiba (OTC: TOSYY), three people familiar with the situation say. According to the sources, the strategic review committee of the scandal-plagued Japanese company has also tapped Bain Capital and Canadian investment firm Brookfield to put together and present their suggestions for Toshiba.

The latest procedure is not intended to publicly solicit buyout bids for the entire company or any of its assets, and it is unclear whether the engagement with buyout companies would result in formal offers in the future. The move, however, implies that Toshiba is interacting with potential buyers since shareholders dismissed its chairman in June after the corporation was revealed to have collaborated with the Japanese government to exert pressure on international investors.

Toshiba, which has multiple business lines and entities and operates in several jurisdictions, initiated a complete evaluation of its current assets and committed to engage with potential strategic and financial investors after the removal of its chairman.

“As announced, Toshiba’s strategic review committee is considering and discussing a wide range of initiatives without delay,” Toshiba said

Toshiba, which had a market valuation of about $19 billion as on Wednesday, “plans to present the achievements when we announce the new business plan in October,” it said, but declined to comment further.

Spokespersons at Bain, Blackstone and KKR declined to comment, while Brookfield did not immediately respond. The sources declined to be identified as the talks were private.