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Fairstock HK Limited: Utility Giant Tokyo Electric Mulls Joining Toshiba Bid

Jul 23, 2022

Japan’s top utility company Tokyo Electric Power Co. is mulling joining a partnership between state-backed investment fund Japan Investment Corp. and a local private equity firm in bidding to take over Toshiba Corp., according to people familiar with the matter. 

The largest power utility in Japan, known as Tepco, is looking to secure Toshiba’s nuclear business through a joint takeover offer, the people said. Foreign funds have also approached JIC to join the bid, according to people familiar with the matter.

JIC and Japan Industrial Partners Inc. are partnering up because they don’t have enough funds on their own, they said. While foreign funds have approached JIC for potential joint offers, it’s too early to tell who JIC-JIP group will partner with or whether they will proceed with their own bid, the people said. 

JIC and JIP declined to comment. Tepco spokesman said it wasn’t among companies that have submitted proposals to Toshiba, without elaborating on the potential JIC and JIP partnership. Toshiba spokeswoman Midori Hara declined to provide details of proposals and potential partners for the company. The company said last month it received eight offers to buy out the conglomerate and two proposals for capital and business alliances.

Any sale of Toshiba, which owns key nuclear technologies, would require approval from the Japanese government. Toshiba is categorized as a company of interest to national security under the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act for is nuclear expertise.

Toshiba is deeply involved in the effort to clean up Tepco’s wrecked Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear power plant, developing technology to remove debris and treat radioactive water. The nuclear power plant suffered from a meltdown back in 2011 amid the destructive earthquake and tsunamis on March 11.

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