Contrary to the second-largest shareholder, Toshiba's major shareholder in the US: supports the spin-off and opposes privatization

Time:2022-01-01 Source: 1245 views Trending Copy share

Zhitong Finance APP learned that Artisan Partners, one of Toshiba's largest US investors, supports Toshiba's plan to split into three companies, which was previously opposed by some major shareholders.

Artisan Partners fund manager Rezo Kanovich said that Artisan "in principle" agreed to the split proposal. Kanovich said that the spin-off of Toshiba will make its huge business easier to manage. It is reported that Artisan owns approximately 1% of Toshiba's shares.

The above remarks indicate that not all Toshiba's foreign shareholders are opposed to the group's spin-off plan. Toshiba announced this plan in November after years of scandals and corporate governance issues. Activist investors have been paying attention to the Japanese company, and Toshiba's second-largest shareholder 3D Investment Partners issued an open letter expressing doubts about the plan.

3D Investment Partners, which holds more than 7% of Toshiba's shares, stated in the letter that the possibility of a spin-off to solve Toshiba's current problems is slim. On the contrary, it is very likely that three under-performing companies will emerge, reproducing the situation of Toshiba today. 3D Investment Partners also urged the board of directors to solicit a tender offer. Some other hedge fund shareholders also expressed disappointment at Toshiba's rejection of the idea of privatization.

Kanovich said Artisan did not "particularly favor" activist investors or company management. He stated that Toshiba is an "extremely attractive asset" with "one of the most interesting technology bases in the world" and cited a range of businesses including quantum computing, renewable energy and power semiconductors.

Kanovich said, "The world completely ignores Toshiba's internal R&D quality." He thinks Toshiba's stock price is "very cheap."

Kanovich said he opposed the prevailing view that the only way to restructure the business is through private equity. He believes that all Toshiba shareholders should benefit from the extraordinary potential of the company's business.

When asked why Artisan only supported Toshiba's proposal "in principle," Kanovich gave two reasons. He said that first of all, the chief executive officer of these businesses and the chairman of the group have not yet been determined. Secondly, considering that Toshiba has some businesses that may be considered strategically important, such as nuclear power business and memory chips, it is unclear how Japanese regulators view this plan.

Toshiba will hold an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders in the first quarter of next year to vote on the spin-off plan. The company will also hold meetings on February 7 and 8 to explain its business strategy to investors.

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