UPDATE 2-Toshiba shares surge on imminent CEO resignation, bidding war expectations

Makiko Yamazaki
·1 min read

(Recasts and writes through)

By Makiko Yamazaki

TOKYO, April 14 (Reuters) - Shares in Japan's Toshiba Corp surged on Wednesday, propelled higher by reports of more plans of bids for the conglomerate and expectations that its embattled chief executive would soon resign.

CEO Nobuaki Kurumatani is planning to resign amid controversy over a $20 billion buyout bid from his former employer, CVC Capital Partners, a source with knowledge of his decision told Reuters on Tuesday.

Toshiba said its board is meeting on Wednesday to discuss management issues but that reports about Kurumatani resigning were not based on company announcements.

His departure could upend CVC's offer last week to take Toshiba private at a time when rival suitors are said to be weighing bids.

Private equity giant KKR & Co is considering a buyout offer that would exceed CVC's, the Financial Times has reported, citing several people briefed on the plans.

Canada's Brookfield Asset Management Inc is in the preliminarily stages of exploring an offer, Bloomberg News reported, citing a person with knowledge of the matter said.

A representative for KKR Japan declined to comment. Brookfield did not immediately respond to a request to comment.

Sources familiar with the matter have said a CVC takeover would shield Kurumatani and other managers from pressure from activist shareholders. The activist shareholders have successfully pushed for an investigation into whether management pressured investors to support their decisions.

The sources declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Shares in Toshiba jumped 8% to trade just under the 5,000 yen per share level reportedly offered by CVC Capital. (Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki, Sakura Murakami and Chang-Ran Kim; Additional reporting by Kane Wu; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)