Toshiba facing bankruptcy after $6.2 Billion dollar bet on nuclear power
According to this Extreme Tech report, Toshiba is on the verge of Bankruptcy after announcing the company would take a $6.2 billion dollar write-down on the value of its nuclear plant business.
We’ve known for weeks that Toshiba was in rough shape and seeking to raise additional revenue through a potential partial sale to Western Digital, but events on Tuesday pushed the company’s position from “really bad” to “implosion imminent.”
Today, Toshiba announced that it would take a $6.2 billion write-down on the value of its nuclear plant construction business. Toshiba acquired a majority stake in Westinghouse Electric Company in 2006, and later upped its share of the company to 87% in 2013. Toshiba paid $5.4 billion for the company in 2006 and an additional $1.6 billion in 2013. In 2015, Toshiba declared its nuclear business was more profitable now than when the company acquired it, but scandals over the Japanese firm’s accounting broke soon thereafter.
Westinghouse is far from the only nuclear engineering firm that Toshiba owns, but it’s near the heart of this scandal. In 2015, Westinghouse bought an American construction company, CB&I Stone & Webster. Toshiba now says that Westinghouse overpaid for the company and that information material to the acquisition — specifically cost overruns, delays, and the impact both would have on CB&I Stone & Webster’s bottom line — were not disclosed properly or accounted for.
Toshiba also announced today that it would take a $3.4 billion loss (estimated) due to cost overruns at multiple key nuclear projects, and that it would review all of its agreements with existing power companies to expand nuclear capability across the globe. Toshiba plans to pivot towards emphasizing existing service contracts as opposed to bidding on nuclear plant construction projects, though it does still hope to sell some of its AP1000 reactors. The AP1000 is a pressurized water reactor, and the latest design from Westinghouse has deployments scheduled to come online this year in Sanmen, China. This deployment is running 2-3 years late, which may be part of why Toshiba is taking such heavy losses.