Toshiba sells off stake in Finland's Kone amid scandal

GMT 05:17 2015 Wednesday ,22 July

Arab Today, arab today Toshiba sells off stake in Finland's Kone amid scandal

Toshiba president Hisao Tanaka
Tokyo - AFP

Toshiba has sold its stake in Finnish engineering giant Kone for almost $1.0 billion to bolster its balance sheet, the firm said Wednesday, after its president and a string of other executives quit over an accounting scandal.

The vast Japanese conglomerate said its elevator unit sold about 24 million shares, or 4.6 percent of Kone's outstanding stock, for a total of 864.7 million euros ($945 million).

"(Toshiba) decided to sell the shares in order to utilise the company's group assets and improve its balance sheet," it said.

The Finnish firm is a major producer of elevators and escalators.

Toshiba's announcement comes a day after company president Hisao Tanaka and several other senior figures resigned over a $1.2 billion accounting scandal blamed on their overzealous pursuit of profit.

A report by a company-hired panel said managers were involved in "systematically" inflating profits for years to cover up poor performance, dealing a serious blow to Japan Inc.'s reputation.

Earlier this year, Toshiba said it was getting out the North American television business and selling its brand in the market to a Taiwanese manufacturer, while it is also considering selling off some of its stake in US-based Westinghouse.

The huge company has more than 200,000 employees globally involved in businesses ranging from washing machines and memory chips to power generation and medical equipment.

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