TROUBLED TECH GIANT TOSHIBA has agreed to sell its image sensor business to fellow Japanese company Sony for ¥19bn (£102m) following major financial losses at the firm earlier this year.
Sony's semiconductor corporation division (SCK) said on Friday that it will take over Toshiba's semiconductor fabrication facility in Oita, Japan from April 2016. The purchase of the fab, which can ship up to 12,500 300mm wafers a month, will be completed "subject to any required regulatory approvals". If it goes ahead, SCK will take over production of Toshiba's CMOS image sensors and memory controllers.
"Following the transfer, Sony and SCK plan to operate the semiconductor fabrication facilities as fabrication facilities of SCK, primarily for manufacturing CMOS image sensors," the agreement said.
Sony will offer the existing 1,100 employees at the plant jobs in the Sony group on the completion of the transfer, although the firm did not say whether these will be the same jobs the workers currently hold.
The sale is undoubtedly Toshiba's attempt to scrape back some money and bounce back from appalling financial earnings earlier this year.
The firm posted an annual loss of over £200m in September after an accounting scandal that saw CEO Hisao Tanaka step down after irregularities were uncovered in the firm's books.
Toshiba has struggled to regain credibility following the review of an independent auditing panel which found that the company had "massaged" the figures to appear more profitable than they actually were.
The auditors found that an amount equivalent to £807m had been "exaggerated". This was three times the figure first suggested by Toshiba when the story broke, and led to the dethroning of its most senior executives.
The company said at the time: "We received the investigation report from the Independent Investigation Committee on 20 July 2015. The company takes the content of the report very seriously. We reiterate our deep apology to our shareholders, investors and all other stakeholders." µ
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