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If they could only turn back time …

Toshiba’s recent woes started in 2015, when it became engulfed in an accounting scandal. It turned out that profits had been overstated by some $2billion during the previous seven years simply because the management’s challenging targets could only be met by ‘creative accounting’.

Around the same time, Toshiba bought a US based nuclear power business, apparently for $229million. Only recently, it found out that the deal would actually cost several billion dollars, once other factors were taken into account.

The cumulative effect of events of the last couple of years has brought Toshiba to the brink of bankruptcy and its latest financial statement was published as unaudited because its auditor wouldn’t sign it off.

Looking to raise cash, Toshiba is shopping its NAND flash business around, with estimates the business could raise $18bn or more. A number of companies are rumoured to be interested, ranging from Chinese EMS company Foxconn to Apple, Google and Broadcom.

Many of us will have uttered the words ‘if I could only turn back time’ more than once in our lives. But you have the feeling that Toshiba’s management will have longed for that ability over the recent past.

Graham Pitcher

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