Toshiba in talks to sell PC business to Taiwan's Asus
Japanese tech giant hopes to shed drag on profits while shoring up finances
TOKYO -- Toshiba has entered into negotiations to sell its money-losing personal computer operations to Asustek Computer of Taiwan, continuing to shed noncore businesses to get its tattered finances back in order.
Asus, now a minor player in corporate PC sales, likely hopes for synergies with the Toshiba business, which has a strong American and European presence. China's Lenovo Group has also expressed interest, which could complicate the talks.
The move is part of a broader restructuring as the Japanese technology giant seeks to fill the massive hole left in its finances by losses on U.S. nuclear operations. The company reached a deal in September to sell its cash-cow flash memory unit to a Japanese-American-South Korean consortium and announced Tuesday that it will sell its television business to China's Hisense Electric.
Toshiba's PC business logged an operating loss of 500 million yen ($4.43 million) on sales of 191.8 billion yen for the year ended March 31. The loss is expected to widen to 5 billion yen for fiscal 2017 as sales continue to slump.
Toshiba sells roughly 1.8 million PCs annually, putting its share of global sales at just 1% or so. Though it once led the market, price wars have eaten into profit margins, while customers have switched to such rivals as HP and Lenovo.
Domestic peers NEC and Fujitsu have already sold or agreed to sell PC operations to Lenovo. Toshiba has taken steps to scale back its business, such as exiting the consumer PC market abroad, and spun off the operations last year to pave the way for a sale or other restructuring.