Toshiba shareholders approve splitting off memory chip unit

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Shares in Toshiba staged strong gains ahead of shareholders voting today in favour of a plan to split off the conglomerate’s flash memory chip business.

This paves the way for a partial or full sale of the Nand chip unit, which Toshiba’s president said will be valued at no less than ¥2tn ($18bn).

The announcement comes a day after the company’s US nuclear unit, Westinghouse, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and the company warned its net loss for the year to the end of March could expand to ¥1tn, up from an estimate by the group last month of ¥390bn. That would rank as the largest loss for a Japanese manufacturer.

Today’s meeting, which lasted for three-and-a-half hours and drew the attendance of 1,343 shareholders, included lots of shouting and angry questions on the failed Westinghouse foray and the risk of the once venerable Japanese company being delisted.

Shares gained as much as 5.6 per cent in Tokyo on Thursday before paring back to close with a rise of 4 per cent at ¥228.2.

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