Toshiba stalls delisting with audit approval

Toshiba announces US.7 bn net loss in 2016

A filing by PwC revealed that the auditor gave a "qualified opinion" on Toshiba's results for the year ended March as well as for April-June.

As of June 30, Toshiba's shareholder equity - its assets minus liabilities - stood at minus Yen504 billion ($4.6 billion), mainly stemming from losses on USA nuclear power plant projects handled by a now-bankrupt Toshiba subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric Co.

PwC also noted that losses at Toshiba's now bankrupt USA nuclear arm Westinghouse Electric were not booked in a timely manner.

For Toshiba, which was downgraded to the second section of the Tokyo bourse this month, a loss of its status as a listed company would further thwart its ability to increase money, particularly for the investment-intensive chip business that it is trying to sell.

"Our earnings have now been normalized", Toshiba President Satoshi Tsunakawa told reporters.

That has unnerved Toshiba's preferred bidder group, a consortium including Japanese government-backed funds, private equity firm Bain Capital LP and South Korean chip maker SK Hynix Inc. The company will face automatic delisting from the TSE unless it eliminates its negative net worth by next March.

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"But this is nothing more than just a beginning of its restructuring", he added.

Toshiba's joint venture partner Western Digital Corp, which has said any sale would require its consent, has opposed the auction and has taken Toshiba to court in addition to lodging its own offer for the chip business. Toshiba says that isn't true, and the two sides are headed for global arbitration.

Toshiba also booked an operating profit of 96.7 billion yen for the April-to-June period, thanks to its robust chip business, compared with an operating profit of 16.3 billion yen in the same quarter previous year.

Yesterday was the deadline for the auditor's approval.

Some analysts have suggested that Toshiba should call off the sale and consider using the chip unit's profits and the sale of other assets to bring shareholder equity back into the black.

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