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Toshiba announces sale of image sensor business to Sony

Tokyo, October 28, 2015 — Toshiba Corp. said Wednesday that it will retreat from the complementary metal oxide semiconductor, or CMOS, image sensor business, by selling the production line at its Oita plant to Sony Corp.

Toshiba plans to sell the CMOS sensor production facility by the March 31 end of fiscal 2015 at an estimated price of 20 billion yen. Some 1,100 employees from the image sensor business will be rehired by the Sony group.

Toshiba also announced its withdrawal during fiscal 2015 from the white light-emitting diode business as part of reforms of its discrete semiconductor chip operations.

Intensifying competition led Toshiba to suffer market share declines and losses in the image sensor and white LED businesses. The company believes that loss-making operations were a cause of its accounting scandal and aims to accelerate its business reconstruction efforts by reforming semiconductor operations.

The company will set up a new firm in April to integrate the Oita plant in southwestern Japan with Iwate Toshiba Electronics Co., a group firm based in Kitakami in northeastern Japan. The integration is aimed at boosting production efficiency for such large-scale integration chips as analog integrated circuits for in-vehicle devices.

Toshiba will not close the Oita plant and will keep operating five plants in Japan for its production of LSI and discrete chips.

For the reform of semiconductor chip operations, Toshiba will face a surplus workforce of some 1,200 employees who are not moving to Sony. It will seek early retirements and consider transfers to the Yokkaichi plant, a core facility making flash memory chips, and other factories.

The company aims to restore profitability in LSI and discrete chip operations in fiscal 2016 by cutting their fixed costs by about 26 billion yen from fiscal 2014.

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