INTERNATIONAL - Toshiba Corp’s ownership restructuring plan faces a challenge, with activist investor Yoshiaki Murakami building a stake in a unit that the conglomerate aims to buy out, potentially making it sweeten an offer.
Toshiba announced last month it plans to take full ownership of chip-making equipment maker NuFlare Technology (6256.T) and two other units through tender offers at a total cost of about 200 billion yuan ($1.84 billion).
Regulatory filings show that funds backed by Murakami, Japan’s most prominent activist shareholder, have built a 6.2 percent stake in NuFlare since Toshiba announced the tender offer for it on Nov. 13.
Toshiba, which already owns 52.4 percent of NuFlare, has offered 11,900 yen for each NuFlare share. While NuFlare’s board has endorsed the offer, Toshiba Machine, NuFlare’s second largest shareholder with a 15.8 percent stake, has yet to decide whether to tender, holding the key to the success of Toshiba’s buyout.
Murakami-backed funds also own a total of 9.2 percent of Toshiba Machine making them the largest shareholder of the former Toshiba unit. Toshiba holds just 2 percent of Toshiba Machine, having sold the bulk of its stake during a management crisis in 2017.