TOKYO -- Flash memory maker Kioxia Holdings will list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange as soon as October with a market capitalization projected at more than 2 trillion yen ($18.9 billion), making for the nation's biggest initial public offering of 2020.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange is expected to greenlight Kioxia's listing soon.
Kioxia, formerly Toshiba Memory Holdings, is the world's second-largest producer of NAND flash memory chips behind Samsung Electronics. Toshiba has a roughly 40% stake, with the rest held by a consortium of U.S., Japanese and South Korean investors.
Toshiba sold its memory business in 2018 to the consortium led by U.S. buyout firm Bain Capital for roughly 2 trillion yen. The deal was in response to the massive losses at U.S. nuclear power subsidiary Westinghouse Electric. The financial troubles compounded the damage sustained earlier in an accounting scandal.
Upon selling Kioxia to the consortium, Toshiba bought back the partial stake. Toshiba and Bain Capital will sell a portion of their Kioxia holdings as part of the listing.
This divestment is anticipated to come in tandem with a small issuance of new shares. Although such terms as the offering price will depend on investor demand, Kioxia is expected to attain a market capitalization of 2 trillion yen to 2.5 trillion yen.
Toshiba President and CEO Nobuaki Kurumatani said in June that the company will direct half of the sales proceeds toward investor rewards. The rest will be applied in part to growth investments.
The memory business is notorious for highly volatile earnings. Kioxia turned in a 166.7 billion yen net loss for the year ended March 31.
Toshiba, whose shareholders are about 70% foreign, faced pressure from a group of investors pushing for a sale of Kioxia as a means of stabilizing finances. Kurumatani said the Toshiba group has no strategic intention of managing the memory business.