Toshiba Corp (T:6502) failed to seal a deal to sell its prized chip business by an internal deadline of Thursday, raising doubts about whether it can plug a balance sheet hole in time to avoid a delisting and keep the unit competitive.
The embattled Japanese conglomerate said in a statement it has tried but so far not come to an agreement and it was continuing to talk with three suitors – a consortium led byWestern Digital (O:WDC) as well as groups led by Bain Capital and by Taiwan’s Foxconn (TW:2317).
The sale of the world’s No. 2 maker of NAND chips – worth $17 billion to $18 billion – has become a contentious battle marked by a slew of revised bids, changing alliances among bidding groups and the threat of legal action from joint venture partner Western Digital.
Despite frayed relations between Western Digital and Toshiba, one source familiar the matter said early this week that their discussions were in final stages, with Steve Milligan, the chief executive of the U.S. firm, in town to hammer out details.
By Makiko Yamazaki
Shares in Carrefour (PA:CARR) slumped on Thursday after the world’s second-largest retailer warned 2017 operating profit could fall by around 12 percent.
Carrefour shares were down by around 10 percent in early trading, among the worst performing stocks in Europe, while Carrefour’s French rival Casino (PA:CASP) also lost ground.
Late on Wednesday, the French supermarket retailer posted a steeper-than-expected fall in first-half earnings and cut its sales growth target, highlighting the challenges faced by new company head Alexandre Bompard.
HSBC analysts also cut their rating on Carrefour to “reduce” from “hold”.
“Carrefour lacks momentum, has lost its scale advantage, and already has low profitability. The outlook is challenging,” wrote HSBC.
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
Rapid gains by the euro against the dollar are worrying a growing number of policymakers at the ECB, raising the chance its asset purchases will be phased out only slowly, three sources familiar with discussions told Reuters.
The scheme is due to expire at the end of 2017 but formal talks over its future are only beginning, meaning the European Central Bank is highly unlikely to take any decision at next Thursday’s rate meeting, the sources said.
Pressure is building for a gentle rather than a rapid reduction in the pace of asset buying from some policymakers, particularly in the bloc’s weaker economies, who are concerned that the strong euro could dampen inflation and hamper growth by making exports dearer, the sources said.
By Balazs Koranyi and Francesco Canepa