Toshiba head quits after buyout offer

Kyodo -- Apr 14
The head of Japanese industrial giant Toshiba has stepped down. President and CEO Kurumatani Nobuaki's resignation comes days after the company got a buyout offer from a UK-based investment fund that he had ties to.

Toshiba says Kurumatani offered his resignation ahead of a board meeting on Wednesday. The firm says he has rebuilt the company from huge losses incurred from its nuclear business in the United States.

Toshiba's nomination committee chairperson Nagayama Osamu said, "We accepted his resignation offer as Toshiba's rehabilitation has been completed with the company's return to the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in January."

UK-based CVC Capital Partners made a buyout proposal last week worth over 20 billion dollars.

The equity fund plans to acquire a majority stake to take Toshiba private. That would free management from the influence of activist shareholders.

Some had opposed Kurumatani's reappointment at a shareholders' meeting last July.

There has been skepticism about the motive behind the buyout offer, as Kurumatani previously headed CVC's Japan operations.

Sources say despite his departure, CVC will submit a detailed proposal to Toshiba as early as this weekend.

Former Toshiba CEO, Tsunakawa Satoshi, will retake the company's top spot. He says the key for Toshiba is to create a relationship of trust with shareholders.

- Kyodo