TOKYO – Shares of Japanese technology conglomerate Toshiba crashed on Monday at the Tokyo Stock Exchange during the first half of the trading session following the company’s announcement of a multi-billion dollar capital increase to seek liquidity at a time of financial difficulties.
Toshiba’s shares lost almost 5 percent in early trading as investors reacted to the company’s announcement on Sunday that it would raise 600 billion yen ($5.4 billion) by issuing new shares on Dec. 5.
The company hopes to free up cash to repay the debts of its nuclear power subsidiary Westinghouse Electric in the United States, which declared bankruptcy in March.
“The successful completion of the Financing will remedy a negative consolidated balance sheet and enable Toshiba to avoid the delisting of its shares, both of which have been pressing challenges of Toshiba,” the company said in a press release.
Debts accumulated by the subsidiary have also forced Toshiba to part with its branch of memory chips – the most profitable of its businesses – whose sale it expects to close before the current fiscal year ends in March 2018.
Toshiba expects to register a net negative equity of 750 billion yen for the current year, according to its results estimates, which do not include the capital increase or the anticipated income from its chip branch sale.
The financial difficulties caused by Westinghouse Electric led Toshiba to successively delay the presentation of its financial results, leading the group to be demoted to the second tier of the TSE in August.
In the event of incurring a negative net worth for the second consecutive year, the iconic Japanese company would be disqualified from the TSE.
In the past year, the multi-million dollar deficit of its US nuclear branch led Toshiba to register a negative equity of 552.9 billion yen.