Blackstone and Toshiba deny a takeover approach for the Japanese conglomerate

TOKYO, Feb 24 (Reuters) – Blackstone Inc (BX.N) has never approached Toshiba Corp (6502.T) about a possible takeover, the two companies said on Thursday, denying a media report.

Nikkei Business Publications reported on Thursday that US private equity firm Blackstone had made a takeover bid for the Japanese conglomerate, citing multiple unidentified sources. He said the two companies’ executives met in January.

“Blackstone has never approached Toshiba about a private outlet,” a Blackstone spokesperson said.

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“Blackstone has never submitted an informal or formal proposal, verbally or in writing, and has no intention of doing so,” the spokesperson added.

Toshiba said in a statement that there is “no such” fact that specific proposals, “including preliminary and initial proposals, have been made to Toshiba, including those of Blackstone, to take Toshiba private.”

The struggling $18 billion conglomerate was once one of Japan’s most powerful companies before it was weakened by the scandal. Yet it retains a number of attractive businesses, from defense equipment to semiconductors.

Toshiba has announced a revised restructuring plan that would see it split off its devices business. Previously, it also planned to spin off its flash memory chip unit and energy and infrastructure business. Some investors are asking him to resume strategic thinking and to solicit takeover bids.

Some shareholders, especially foreign activist funds, opposed Toshiba’s proposed split, seeing higher returns in a buyout. A privatization deal would also allow shareholders to exit their investment relatively quickly, instead of having to wait for a breakup that could take years.

Management said breaking would be the best option to maximize value.

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Reporting by David Dolan and Makiko Yamazaki Writing by Elaine Lies Editing by David Goodman, Mark Potter and Susan Fenton

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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