Exit from the PC market: Toshiba sells its laptop-business to Sharp
The consolidation of the PC market continues, as another well-known and established manufacturer leaves the PC development behind: Toshiba will sell its PC business to Sharp.
For years, the PC business has produced nothing but losses for Toshiba, which is why Toshiba has been looking for a buyer for quite some time. Years ago, Toshiba, Fujitsu and the Sony-spin-off Vaio discussed a possible alliance, but these talks failed. After NEC and Fujitsu sold their PC business units to Lenovo, Toshiba was one of the last independent Japanese PC manufacturers, alongside Vaio and Panasonic. The acquisition by Sharp marks the end of the long history of Toshiba laptops – the Toshiba Dynabook, which came out in 1985, was one of the first laptops to ever be release.
Sharp, the buyer of the business unit and itself a subsidiary of the Taiwanese company Foxconn, pays a comparably low sum for the business – it will acquire the Toshiba PC business unit for four billion Yen, which are just roughly 36 Million US-dollar. For Sharp or rather Foxconn, Toshiba provides a foothold in the PC business, as Toshiba still has a small but loyal customer-pool in the enterprise-segment. Foxconn is one of the biggest ODM manufacturers for laptops, tablets and smartphones, a low-margin business. That is why one goal of Foxconn is to establish itself as a more consumer-facing company.
The deal was announced today. The transaction is expected to be finished in October 2018. Afterwards, Sharp will own 80 % of the Toshiba PC business, while a minority share of 20 % will remain with Toshiba.