Sharp re-enters PC market with purchase of Toshiba subsidiary

Toshiba has offloaded a majority stake in its PC business, Toshiba Client Solutions, to Japanese rival Sharp. The move will see Sharp re-enter the PC market after an eight-year absence

  • By Fernando Moncada Rivera | Tuesday, June 5th, 2018

Sharp's purchase of Toshiba Client Solutions will see the company return to the PC market after an eight-year absence

On June 5, Japanese electronics company Toshiba announced it had agreed to sell a majority stake in its PC business to Sharp, which will return to the market for the first time since exiting eight years ago. The deal, worth $36.4m, will see Sharp take ownership of 80.1 percent of Toshiba Client Solutions, a subsidiary that owns the company’s PC business.

Taiwan’s Foxconn bought Sharp for $3.8bn in 2016, after the Japanese company struggled to keep up with its regional rivals. Toshiba’s PC unit, meanwhile, has been losing money over the past few years, recording a loss of $87.4m last year alone.

Toshiba’s PC business is just the latest in a string of assets sold off by the company following its failed venture with Westinghouse

With Foxconn in its corner, Sharp is better positioned to turn the struggling PC business around, especially given its parent company’s far-reaching supply chain. The purchase may also help Foxconn build upon its reputation as the world’s largest iPhone manufacturer.

For Toshiba, however, the PC unit is just the latest in a string of assets sold off following its failed venture with Westinghouse, an American nuclear engineering company that went bankrupt after problems at two major US projects.

The nuclear venture left Toshiba with heavy losses, which were not significantly offset by its eventual sale, as most of the proceeds went to creditors.

In the past two years, Toshiba has also sold its TV business to China’s Hisense, its home appliances unit to Midea and a controlling stake in its microchip business to a consortium led by the US’ Bain Capital.