Electrical appliances company Toshiba Corp. has confirmed it received an initial buyout bid from CVC Capital Partners, according to a statement to the Tokyo stock exchange Thursday.
It might pave the way for potentially the biggest private equity-led acquisition in years, news reports said Thursday.
CVC Capital Partners was looking into acquiring Toshiba for 2 trillion yen ($18 billion), Nikkei reported.
Such a move would mark an end of years of drama for Toshiba, which operates involved in manufacturing, electronics and nuclear plants.
Shares of Toshiba climbed to their highest since 2017 in Tokyo, taking its current year gain to 57% and market value to almost 2 trillion yen. The company's stock was last trading up 0.55% The paper gained 5.8% a day earlier when rumors of the CVC offer emerged.
"Privatization could be positive as it may provide Toshiba much needed flexibility and cover from limelight," Manufacturing.net quoted Atul Goyal, analyst with Jefferies, as saying. "It is not a done deal."
A Toshiba spokesman declined to comment on media reports that the buyout offer would come in at about $20 billion.
The bid comes as the Japanese conglomerate faces scrutiny from activists after a series of scandals, including a record fine for flawed accounting, a bungled foray into U.S. nuclear power, and billions of dollars in write-downs.
The CVC offer also comes just weeks after Toshiba President and chief executive Nobuaki Kurumatani lost a landmark shareholder vote that led to an independent inquiry into alleged issues with voting during the company's annual general shareholder meeting in 2020.
Kurumatani previously served as the director of CVC in Japan before taking his position at Toshiba in 2018.
The Luxembourg-based CVC is an international private equity company which has committed almost $162 billion in funds, managing more than 300 investors.