Toshiba is ready to sell its image sensor unit for about $165 million to Sony as the company is seeking to raise cash to extinguish dept, according to Bloomberg. The deal will be revealed public as early as this week, but no exact date was mentioned yet.
Sony wants Toshiba’s image sensor unit to build on its dominant position for the component used to capture smartphone pictures. On the other hand, the Toshiba accounting scandal cut off about $1.3 billion profit reported over almost seven years. meaning that the Japanese company is looking for liquidities.
According to the same source, Sony’s President Kazuo Hirai is investing in sensors as he counts on producing key components to drive earnings along with the higher-profile businesses of making consumer electronics, video games and movies.
Last year, Sony was number one on the image sensors’ market, with 40 percent of the $8.7 billion market. Techno Systems Research, its primary rival, had only 16 percent. Sony expects its company’s sales to increase as much as 62 percent to nearly $12.3 billion in the next three years, as the market for image sensors will surely receive a big bump to over $12 billion by 2019.
Toshiba had more than 198,700 employees as of March 31, the lowest since at least 2009, statistics offered by Bloomberg. Masashi Muromachi, the company’s president, is trying to get rid of Toshiba’s underperforming businesses to raise cash to cover the accounting scandal. Investments in Topcon Corp or Kone Oyj were sold for a total of $1.1 billion.
While Toshiba spokesman Tatsuro Oishi said that there’s no done deal yet, Sony’s spokesman George Boyd refused to comment. Most likely, there will be more details about this deal available soon, as soon as both parts will reach a common point and sign the agreement.