Toshiba Eyeing Appliance-Arm Sale

TOKYO (Japan News) -

Toshiba Corp. is considering selling off part of its household-appliance business to an overseas manufacturer as part of efforts to rehabilitate its worsening operations following the revelation of accounting irregularities, according to sources.

Potential buyers of the business include a major consumer-electronics maker in an emerging nation, whose businesses are expanding. Toshiba aims to boost its earnings capacity by concentrating on profitable businesses, the sources said.

The firm is also exploring the possibilities of maintaining the household appliance business, focusing on operations it can rehabilitate through its own efforts.

Toshiba has been facing difficulties in generating sufficient profits in that business – which includes such products as washing machines and vacuum cleaners – amid fierce competition with rival manufacturers in China and other emerging economies.

Toshiba is considering asking a potential buyer to produce those products using its factories overseas while maintaining its brand name, the sources said.

For Toshiba, household appliances have been a long-established business since the company produced the nation’s first electric washing machine in 1930.

However, sales of household appliances, PCs and other such products accounted for less than 20 percent of Toshiba’s consolidated sales for fiscal 2014.