Toshiba To Sell Sensor Business In Wake Of Accounting Scandal

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Toshiba Corp offloading camera sensor business to Sony as new boss tries to overhaul semiconductor division

Toshiba will sell its imaging sensor business to Sony, as the Japanese company’s new president Masashi Muromachi outlines a restructuring of its semiconductor division.

Sony will pick up the CMOS sensor business as it looks to create a new Sony subsidiary called Sony Semiconductor Corporation.

Toshiba’s sensor factory and staff will come under the control of Sony, with the deal set to close before the end of 2015. Neither company has disclosed financial details of the transaction, but anonymous company sources say the deal will be worth 20 billion yen (£108m), according to Reuters.

Cameras and smartphones

toshibaSony Semiconductor Corporation will be pivotal in Sony’s future in digital camera and smartphones. Apple uses Sony sensors in the iPhone, and Google has also recently started using Sony sensors in its own hardware such as the Nexus 6P.

TechWeekEurope has contacted both Sony and Toshiba, but has not received comment at the time of publishing.

In April, research house Techno Systems said that Sony commanded a 40 percent market share of the image sensor market in 2014, up 5 percent from 2013. In February, Sony announced it would be ploughing more than £500m into its semiconductor business.

Fallout from this year’s accounting scandal continues to rock Japanese firm after it posted an annual loss of £209m in September.

The scandal saw the departure of the chief executive of the company continues to cause problems for the Japanese firm.

The company posted a full year net loss of $318 million (£209m) after a delay caused by the scandal and the sale of another unit in an effort to improve its finances.

Toshiba began an official probe in May this year which found that the company had overstated operating profits by a total of 151.8 billion yen (£780m), roughly triple the figure Toshiba had initially estimated.

Even worse, the chief executive of Toshiba was found to have been aware of a profit inflation scheme going back to 2008. He and a number of other executives resigned following the release of an independent inquiry findings.

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