“Once again, I apologize deeply from my heart for causing so many problems,” Toshiba’s chief executive, Satoshi Tsunakawa, told hundreds of shareholders who gathered at a convention center outside Tokyo. Reporters were not allowed inside the meeting hall, but some shareholders recorded the proceedings on their phones and provided video to Japanese television networks.
Reporters were allowed to listen to an audio feed of the meeting provided by Toshiba. It suggested widespread dissatisfaction with management.
“This has become a third-rate company, but you have no sense of crisis,” one male shareholder, who was not identified, told executives during a question-and-answer period.
Toshiba has been stung by accounting irregularities and losses from nuclear power projects in the United States. To raise much-needed cash, it is selling a still-undisclosed portion of the microchip business, which makes NAND flash memory chips used in cellphones and other digital devices. Analysts say it could be worth about $18 billion.
The buyers Toshiba chose last week include a Japanese government-controlled investment fund, the Innovation Network Corporation; the Development Bank of Japan, a state-owned bank; and the American buyout firm Bain Capital. The South Korean technology company SK Hynix is to provide financing for the deal.
The company needs a deal to fill a vast hole in its balance sheet. The losses at its American nuclear power division, Westinghouse Electric, have cast “substantial uncertainty” over the century-old company’s ability to stay in business, Toshiba has said in financial statements.
That has threatened…