‘Make de­ci­sion by end-March’

New Straits Times - - Business World -

Toshiba Corp’s West­ing­house Elec­tric Co LLC unit needs to de­cide by the end of the month whether to file for Chap­ter 11 bank­ruptcy so the Ja­panese con­glom­er­ate can com­pile au­dited third-quar­ter earn­ings with­out fur­ther de­lays, said Ja­pan’s fi­nance min­is­ter yes­ter­day.

Toshiba has a Mon­day dead­line to pub­lish the earn­ings af­ter post­pon­ing their re­lease a month ago so that it could probe po­ten­tial prob­lems at West­ing­house fur­ther.

If it misses that date, it has eight work­ing days to March 27 to file the re­port or face a pos­si­ble delist­ing from the Tokyo bourse.

“On the United States side, they have to de­cide about (whether to file for) Chap­ter 11 quickly and un­til they do that, it seems it is dif­fi­cult for them to file their earn­ings,” said Fi­nance Min­is­ter Taro Aso yes­ter­day.

Peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter have said West­ing­house, which has been hit by huge cost over­runs at two US projects, had brought in law firm Weil Got­shal & Manges LLP as an ex­ploratory step, but had not yet taken a de­ci­sion on a bank­ruptcy fil­ing.

Aso’s de­ci­sion to weigh in on Toshiba’s trou­bles adds gov­ern­ment pres­sure on the com­pany to act swiftly to re­solve its fi­nan­cial prob­lems.

The like­li­hood of Toshiba meet­ing its Mon­day dead­line was “fifty-fifty” as West­ing­house au­di­tors and lawyers were fuss­ing over de­tails, said a source.

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