Another big Toshiba shareholder calls for major change

3D Investment Partners wants to sell, labels company a 'governance embarrassment for Japan'

One of Toshiba’s largest shareholders has called upon the company's board to solicit bids to acquire all or part of the ailing Japanese giant.

The shareholder in question is 3D Investment Partners, which owns 7.6 per cent of Toshiba. On Wednesday it spelled out its disappointment in an open letter that notes shareholders have now opposed four turnaround plans proposed by management.

The letter expresses 3D's displeasure as follows:

Once an iconic Japanese company, Toshiba has become a corporate governance embarrassment for Japan. It is time for the board to take decisive action to restore Toshiba's reputation.

The letter wants Toshiba's board to take three actions before its June annual general meeting: developing and disclosing a mid-range plan that reflects the company’s opportunity; soliciting indications of interest from buyout firms; and consulting with shareholders concerning the board's composition.

The firm demands all that done before Toshiba's June 25 annual general meeting. It has called for consultation to include those who have expressed concerns about the company's governance or strategy, and asked Toshiba's board to take shareholder sentiment into account when considering appointments.

"The Board should not unilaterally determine whom to nominate to the Board including the nomination of Taro Shimada (President and CEO) and Goro Yanase (Vice President and COO), given the lack of trust and progress over the last year," the letter states.

The firm also stated that potential buyers should provide not only preliminary indications of interest, but also valuation ranges, prior to the AGM. It promised any credible offer would receive materials and cooperation from management to help reach a proposal.

3D's letter comes after its efforts to secure approval for a potential private equity buyout was narrowly defeated at a shareholders' meeting in March. A turnaround plan devised by Toshiba management was also voted down, leaving the company with no clear direction.

Toshiba has so far resisted going private and instead attempted to break the company into three smaller ones. Once that plan was rejected, it tried and failed to arrange a two-way split.

Toshiba's tortured turnaround attempts follow years of scandals that involved government ministers, the meltdown of finances at its nuclear power business, and the removal of board members.

Effissimo, Toshiba's largest shareholder, has already signed a conditional deal to sell its almost ten per cent stake to American private investment firm Bain Capital, in the hope it drives a takeover. Bain has reportedly been shopping around to the other shareholders, but has acknowledged there were "issues that needed to be resolved to launch a bid to take Toshiba private." ®

Similar topics

Broader topics

Narrower topics

Other stories you might like

  • Drone ship carrying yet more drones launches in China
    Zhuhai Cloud will carry 50 flying and diving machines it can control with minimal human assistance

    Chinese academics have christened an ocean research vessel that has a twist: it will sail the seas with a complement of aerial and ocean-going drones and no human crew.

    The Zhu Hai Yun, or Zhuhai Cloud, launched in Guangzhou after a year of construction. The 290-foot-long mothership can hit a top speed of 18 knots (about 20 miles per hour) and will carry 50 flying, surface, and submersible drones that launch and self-recover autonomously. 

    According to this blurb from the shipbuilder behind its construction, the Cloud will also be equipped with a variety of additional observational instruments "which can be deployed in batches in the target sea area, and carry out task-oriented adaptive networking to achieve three-dimensional view of specific targets." Most of the ship is an open deck where flying drones can land and be stored. The ship is also equipped with launch and recovery equipment for its aquatic craft. 

    Continue reading
  • Experts: AI should be recognized as inventors in patent law
    Plus: Police release deepfake of murdered teen in cold case, and more

    In-brief Governments around the world should pass intellectual property laws that grant rights to AI systems, two academics at the University of New South Wales in Australia argued.

    Alexandra George, and Toby Walsh, professors of law and AI, respectively, believe failing to recognize machines as inventors could have long-lasting impacts on economies and societies. 

    "If courts and governments decide that AI-made inventions cannot be patented, the implications could be huge," they wrote in a comment article published in Nature. "Funders and businesses would be less incentivized to pursue useful research using AI inventors when a return on their investment could be limited. Society could miss out on the development of worthwhile and life-saving inventions."

    Continue reading
  • Declassified and released: More secret files on US govt's emergency doomsday powers
    Nuke incoming? Quick break out the plans for rationing, censorship, property seizures, and more

    More papers describing the orders and messages the US President can issue in the event of apocalyptic crises, such as a devastating nuclear attack, have been declassified and released for all to see.

    These government files are part of a larger collection of records that discuss the nature, reach, and use of secret Presidential Emergency Action Documents: these are executive orders, announcements, and statements to Congress that are all ready to sign and send out as soon as a doomsday scenario occurs. PEADs are supposed to give America's commander-in-chief immediate extraordinary powers to overcome extraordinary events.

    PEADs have never been declassified or revealed before. They remain hush-hush, and their exact details are not publicly known.

    Continue reading
  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading
  • Big Tech loves talking up privacy – while trying to kill privacy legislation
    Study claims Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft work to derail data rules

    Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft often support privacy in public statements, but behind the scenes they've been working through some common organizations to weaken or kill privacy legislation in US states.

    That's according to a report this week from news non-profit The Markup, which said the corporations hire lobbyists from the same few groups and law firms to defang or drown state privacy bills.

    The report examined 31 states when state legislatures were considering privacy legislation and identified 445 lobbyists and lobbying firms working on behalf of Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft, along with industry groups like TechNet and the State Privacy and Security Coalition.

    Continue reading
  • SEC probes Musk for not properly disclosing Twitter stake
    Meanwhile, social network's board rejects resignation of one its directors

    America's financial watchdog is investigating whether Elon Musk adequately disclosed his purchase of Twitter shares last month, just as his bid to take over the social media company hangs in the balance. 

    A letter [PDF] from the SEC addressed to the tech billionaire said he "[did] not appear" to have filed the proper form detailing his 9.2 percent stake in Twitter "required 10 days from the date of acquisition," and asked him to provide more information. Musk's shares made him one of Twitter's largest shareholders. The letter is dated April 4, and was shared this week by the regulator.

    Musk quickly moved to try and buy the whole company outright in a deal initially worth over $44 billion. Musk sold a chunk of his shares in Tesla worth $8.4 billion and bagged another $7.14 billion from investors to help finance the $21 billion he promised to put forward for the deal. The remaining $25.5 billion bill was secured via debt financing by Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Barclays, and others. But the takeover is not going smoothly.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022