U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital has said it aims to list Toshiba Corp's chip unit on the Tokyo Stock Exchange within three years, to cash in its investment after leading an $18 billion acquisition of the business. Sonia Legg reports.
They've only just agreed a deal to buy Toshiba's chip business and already Bain Capital is making bold predictions. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) HEAD OF BAIN CAPITAL IN JAPAN, YUJI SUGIMOTO, SAYING: "We want to support Toshiba's chip unit, in order to continue its business as an independent Japanese company. We're also aiming to have it listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange after a few years raising its corporate value." A consortium lead by Bain will pay $18 billion for the world's second largest Nand chip maker. It means Toshiba can plug a hole in its balance sheet caused by the bankruptcy of its U.S. nuclear power subsidiary. It should also avoid being delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange - with the chip business joining it there instead. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FIDELITY INTERNATIONAL, INVESTMENT DIRECTOR, TOM STEVENSON, SAYING: "It probably is realistic for Bain to float that chip making business on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. I mean it is the crown jewels of Toshiba's portfolio of businesses." Toshiba's still facing legal challenges over the sale from Western Digital. Its US venture partner is seeking an injection, arguing Toshiba needs its consent. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FIDELITY INTERNATIONAL, INVESTMENT DIRECTOR, TOM STEVENSON, SAYING: "The antitrust authorities still need to give the sale the go ahead so there are still things that need to be done and more generally I think what Toshiba has now lost its primary growth engine, its profit engine - 90 percent of its profits came from its chip business. It will no longer have that." Bain has also reportedly filed for antitrust approval in China. But it hopes to close the deal even if the disputes aren't resolved. And its ambitions in Japan don't end with Toshiba. It's also bidding for Japan's third largest advertising agency Asatsu-DK - which will be one of the country's largest buy-outs this year.