Toshiba (TOSYY) has extended its financial lifeline for the foreseeable future in a move that may be a last resort for the scandal-straddled Japanese electronics company before it faces a humiliating reality of being de-listed from the country's stock markets.
The Tokyo-based semiconductors-to-PCs company said Tuesday it met with its main lenders to explain the situation regarding the write down of the value of CB&I Stone & Webster, a newly acquired U.S. nuclear unit for which it recently admitted it would need to book greater-than-expected losses. Toshiba did not expand further on the Tuesday meeting, but the Nikkei reported the main lenders to the company had agreed to the company's request to extend financing until the end of February.
While Toshiba could stay afloat for a while with the help of the lenders, the means of its funding is becoming limited. Following the revelation on the U.S. unit, Moody's Investors Service and Japanese credit rating firm R&I downgraded their ratings on Toshiba, warning its negative equity position.
Toshiba's shareholder capital stood at ¥363.2 billion ($3.1 billion) at the end of September 2016, down by a third from the year ended March 2015. Meanwhile, the company currently expects bottom line profit of ¥145 billion on revenue of ¥5.4 trillion for the year ending March 2017 after booking losses for two consecutive years.
Eyes will be on the extent of the losses that come out from CB&I Stone & Webster and how much it could erode the company's capital.
Toshiba shares closed up 0.5% at ¥288.60 on Tuesday, barely making up for the 42% drop in market value after management shocked investors at the end of last year after disclosing the degree of losses from CB&I Stone & Webster could amount to.
So what lies ahead for Toshiba?
Chipmaker Renesas Electronics (RNECY) , which received investment from the country's public-private government fund, could provide a blueprint. The Innovation Network Corporation of Japan also has a track record of splitting divisions of existing companies and creating new ones, as was the case with Apple supplier Japan Display (JPDYY) .
Or, Toshiba could follow the footsteps of Sharp (SHCAY) , which fell into financial trouble after badly-timed investments. INCJ was also interested in the major LCD TV maker but it was eventually acquired by major Apple contract manufacturer Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry (HNHPF) .
Toshiba admitted last month to overvaluing the newly-acquired CB&I Stone & Webster and said it now estimates that goodwill impairment costs for the nuclear construction unit at several billions of dollars, compared with its initial estimate of $87 million. The company has yet to narrow down the amount any further.
The revelation came as Toshiba recovered from its July 2015 accounting scandal in which it inflated ¥151.8 billion in profits in its PC, visual products businesses and a part of the semiconductor business for seven years. This led to the resignations of then-president Hisao Tanaka and seven other executives.
In September, the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Nagoya Stock Exchange put Toshiba on their watch lists pointing to serious compliance issues, exposing the company to risk of being delisted. In December, Toshiba said it remained on their watch lists and that if the company did not improve its accounting and monitoring practices, the stock would be removed.