• While Toshiba’s history in many ways embodied Japan’s blazing economic rise, some people say the stumbles that led the company to sell chip unit reflected the country’s more recent problems.In an era when the global technology industry is dominated by nimble specialists selling cutting-edge design and software, Toshiba has been defined by a stultifying management hierarchy, a dogged focus on hardware and a scattered portfolio of businesses.
  • “Toshiba is one of Japan’s last zombies,” said Jesper Koll, the chief executive of WisdomTree Japan, an investment firm.
  • Two financial institutions controlled by the Japanese government that Toshiba had previously identified as major potential investors will not contribute money initially, the company said.
  • Toshiba itself will retain just over 40 percent of the unit, one of the world’s largest producers of the flash memory chips used to store data in smartphones and other digital devices.In negotiating the deal, Toshiba struggled to balance its need for cash and its desire to retain control of the microchip unit, which has been described as the crown jewel in its vast portfolio of businesses.Toshiba pioneered its core technology, NAND flash memory, and although it has fallen to second in global production, behind Samsung Electonics of South Korea, the business has generated the largest share of Toshiba’s profits in recent years.

JONATHAN SOBLE / New York Times September 28, 2017, 2:37 pm


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