Does Toshiba Memory name change indicate stake is for sale?

July 18, 2019 //By Peter Clarke
Does Toshiba Memory name change indicate stake is for sale?
Toshiba Memory, the 2018 spin off necessitated by enormous losses in Toshiba Corp.' nuclear power business, is set to change its name to Kioxia on October 1, 2019.

Toshiba retains a substantial minority stake in the memory spin off so a name change is appropriate, but the move also raises the question whether Toshiba is preparing to put its holding in Kioxia up for sale.

Kioxia – pronunced: kee-ox-ee-uh – is combination of the Japanese word kioku meaning "memory' and the Greek word axia meaning "value." All of Toshiba Memory's subsidiary companies are due to adopt the Kioxia name so Toshiba Memory Europe GmbH will become Kioxia Europe GmbH.

Although Toshiba eventually had to consider a complete sell off of its memory chip business to plug the hole in its accounts in the end it was able to retain a 40.2 percent share.

While Toshiba could be expected to take a long view with regard to its holding in Kioxia this is not the sort of position it can easily reduce by multiple small sales. If it does want to reduce its position it is more likely to go in a single transaction, or few transactions to other memory makers or strategic investors interested in increasing competition and guaranteeing access to NAND flash memory.

Toshiba Memory – the soon to be Kioxia – said it plans to grow sustainably as a leading flash memory producer for many years to come.

"Using memory as our starting point, Kioxia will collaborate with people to meet the various needs of everyday life, making the world more interesting and providing long-lasting value to society," said Stacy Smith, executive chairman of Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp., in a statement.

Toshiba invented NAND flash memory in 1987 and participates in the latest developments such as 3D-NAND with its BiCS flash technology.

Related links and articles:

News articles:

Toshiba starts sampling 96-layer, quad bit 3D-NAND

China approves Toshiba memory sale

China catching up in 3D-NAND flash race

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