CVC Capital Partners has made a $20bn offer for Toshiba, joining KKR and other private equity funds in a potential bidding battle that could generate Japan’s biggest buyout deal in history, according to people with knowledge of the talks.
The deal under discussion would take Toshiba private and would mark yet another twist in a corporate saga that has led the company from a profit-padding scandal in 2015 and the edge of bankruptcy two years later to a humiliating defeat in a showdown with its largest shareholders last month.
News of the CVC offer, and the expectation of a hefty premium, caused trading in Toshiba’s shares to freeze on Wednesday morning in Tokyo because of a glut of buy orders. Before CVC’s overture became known, Toshiba’s shares were trading at about 18 per cent below their level in December 2016, just before the company’s financial crisis began.
According to bankers and people close to Toshiba, CVC is expected to form a consortium with corporate and financial partners to finance the buyout, which would spare Toshiba’s management the…