Japan’s Toshiba Corp (T:6502) said on Thursday it had signed an $18 billion (13.47 billion pounds) deal to sell its chip unit to a consortium led by Bain Capital LP, overcoming a key – albeit not its last – hurdle as it scrambles for funds to stave off a potential delisting.
The sale of the unit – the world’s second biggest producer of NAND chips – was agreed last week after a tortuous auction process but the signing was delayed because consortium member Apple Inc (O:AAPL) demanded new terms on chip supply, sources familiar with the matter have said.
The deal will see Toshiba reinvest in the unit and together with Hoya Corp (T:7741), a medical technology firm that also makes parts for chip devices, Japanese firms will hold more than 50 percent of the business – a keen wish of the Japanese government.
A Japanese state-backed fund and bank have also expressed their interest in investing in the future subject to certain conditions, Toshiba said in a statement.
“With this deal, a lot of risks for Toshiba have disappeared. It can go back to being a normal company,” said Hideki Yasuda at Ace Research Institute.
By Makiko Yamazaki
Euro zone economic sentiment improved more than expected in September, reaching levels last seen in July 2007, with optimism rising in all sectors except financial services, data from the European Commission showed on Thursday.
The survey showed that sentiment in the 19 countries sharing the euro rose to 113.0 in September from 111.9 in August. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a rise to 112.0.
Sentiment in industry rose sharply to 6.6 this month from 5.0 in August and optimism in the services sector, which produces more than two thirds of the euro zone’s gross domestic product improved to 15.3 from 15.1.
Consumers became more optimistic too, with the indicator rising to -1.2 from -1.5, high above the long-term average of -12.5, and sentiment in retail trade jumped to 3.0 from 1.6.
Only in the financial services sector the mood worsened to 18.8 from 25.6 in August, the Commission data showed.
Germany’s Merck KGaA (DE:MRCG) is eyeing annual sales of its multiple sclerosis pill Mavenclad, a late-comer to the market for oral treatments against the neurological disease, of up to 700 million euros (616.21 million pounds) in the European Union.
Peak sales in the region would be 500-700 million euros for the drug, also known as cladribine, by 2024 or 2025, the diversified chemicals and pharma company said on Thursday.
It will decide by the year-end whether to also seek approval in the United States.
Oil prices rose on Thursday, spurred by rising tension around northern Iraq following the autonomous Kurdistan region’s vote in favor of independence in a referendum.
Brent crude oil (LCOc1) was up 60 cents at $58.50 a barrel by 0945 GMT. It hit a more than two-year high of $59.49 on Tuesday after Monday’s referendum vote prompted Turkey to threaten to close the region’s oil pipeline.
U.S. light crude (CLc1) was 60 cents higher at $52.74 after reaching a five-month intra-day high of $52.86 a barrel.
By Christopher Johnson