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Toshiba's ambiguity on M&As leads to showdown with key shareholder

US fund wants battered company to present clear plan for reaching its goals

Reporters raise their hands for a question during a Toshiba news conference.    © Reuters

TOKYO -- Is Toshiba planning to go on an acquisition shopping spree backed by almost $10 billion, a possibility raised by a major shareholder? Or is it all a big misunderstanding, as the Japanese engineering company claims? This brewing dispute will be at the center of an extraordinary shareholders meeting scheduled for March 18.

The larger issue is what is the best path forward for Toshiba, a company that was brought to the brink by its disastrous purchase of the American nuclear plant builder Westinghouse. Farallon Capital Management, which has a large stake in Toshiba through affiliate Chinook Holdings, wants to ensure that the company sticks to improving existing operations to meet its goals.

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