Norinchukin Bank Denies State-Backed Toshiba Bid Report

Japan’s Norinchukin Bank denied a report it and state-backed Japan Investment Corporation are considering a possible buyout of Toshiba Corp.

Nikkan Kogyo reported earlier that the two institutions and possibly other bidders could make an offer for the Japanese conglomerate. The plan would have aimed to relist the company in two years, the report said without specifying sources. The Japanese government would grant its approval to such a bid subject to restrictions on the sale of Toshiba’s nuclear energy and Kioxia Holdings Corp. assets, it added.

“There is no such fact,” a spokesman for Norinchukin Bank said. Officials at JIC declined to comment.

Toshiba shares were up about 1.6% in Tokyo Thursday, extending a weeklong rally that had added 14% to its value.

Norinchukin Bank Denies State-Backed Toshiba Bid Report

Toshiba’s chief executive officer, Nobuaki Kurumatani, stepped down this week after confidence in his leadership plummeted. The decision came as factions within the conglomerate mounted resistance to a potential buyout offer from CVC Capital Partners -- where Kurumatani previously worked. Some executives thought the offer undervalued a storied Japanese corporation that still holds valuable assets, Bloomberg News reported. Separately, private equity firm KKR & Co. is also exploring a rival offer.

Kurumatani’s tenure had been a rebuilding project for a company recovering from a major accounting scandal that had demoted it from Japan’s top trading tier. It returned to the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s first section at the start of this year and the CEO signaled it was looking to make acquisitions again. But questions about the transparency and process of the vote to keep him in his position last year led Toshiba’s largest investor Effissimo Capital Management to request an independent investigation, which was green-lit at an extraordinary shareholder meeting in March.

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