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File picture shows shoppers looking at Toshiba Corp’s Regza television at an electronics store in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, June 25, 2013. — Reuters picFile picture shows shoppers looking at Toshiba Corp’s Regza television at an electronics store in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, June 25, 2013. — Reuters picTOKYO, Nov 14 — Struggling Japanese conglomerate Toshiba said today it has decided to sell its television business to China’s Hisense Group as part of its efforts to restore its balance sheet.

Toshiba agreed with the Chinese group to sell 95 per cent in shares of its unit Toshiba Visual Solutions (TVS) for about ¥12.9 billion (approx. RM478 million), it said in a statement.

“Toshiba has been considering structural reforms that will ... strengthen Toshiba’s financial base,” the firm said.

“It has become difficult for Toshiba itself to further invest its management resources and execute measures to strengthen the competitiveness” of the TV business, it said.

Accordingly, it determined that the best way to strengthen the business is “to transfer it to Hisense”.

The announcement came days after the Tokyo-based firm said it logged a net loss of US$436 million for the fiscal first half, as it moves to complete the multi-billion-dollar sale of its chip business.

After months of wrangling with competing bidders, Toshiba said in September it had formally signed an agreement to sell the chip unit for ¥2 trillion to a consortium led by US investor Bain Capital, which included US tech giants Apple and Dell as well as South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix.

The chip unit brought in around a quarter of Toshiba’s total annual revenue and is the crown jewel in a vast range of businesses ranging from home appliances to nuclear reactors.

The deal is seen as crucial to the survival of the cash-strapped company, one of Japan’s best-known firms.

Toshiba is on the ropes after the disastrous acquisition of US nuclear energy firm Westinghouse, which racked up billions of dollars in losses before being placed in bankruptcy protection. — AFP

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