Westinghouse bankruptcy: India hopes no impact on nuclear cooperation

The acquisition was aimed at winning Toshiba more business in decontamination, decommissioning and plant projects.

Toshiba Corp.'s shareholders approved Thursday the embattled conglomerate's plan to spin off its prized memory chip unit to bolster its financial standing as it scrambles to secure funds to cover massive losses from its US nuclear business.

This move will trigger a number of complex negotiations involving the conglomerate based in Japan, its unit in the USA and a number of creditors.

Westinghouse, a subsidiary of Japanese conglomerate Toshiba, says it has secured $800 million in financing as it goes through a "strategic restructuring".

Toshiba's shares have lost more than half their market value since late December when Toshiba warned of a flood of red ink at Westinghouse and said it was investigating whistle-blower claims of possible accounting fraud by senior executives at the division.

The firm was supposed to set up six nuclear reactors for Kovvada nuclear power project in Ranasthalam mandal of Srikakulam district in partnership with the state-run Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL).

Westinghouse is the manufacturer of 111 of the 450 operable nuclear reactors worldwide, according to court documents filed at Southern New York's federal bankruptcy court.

Toshiba first warned of a massive hit from its USA nuclear unit back in December.

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The Westinghouse Electrical Company has put in for US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after failing to deal with huge losses that in turn have hit its parent company Toshiba. Then, in 2009, when regulators in both Georgia and SC approved the construction of new AP1000 reactors, it looked like Toshiba's investment would pay off.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said Wednesday he has discussed the situation with U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry.

Toshiba will close the first round of bids for its chip business - the world's second-biggest NAND chip producer - on Wednesday.

Beyond the US, WEC operates a number of nuclear plants in Europe, however, these are likely to be unaffected by the bankruptcy due to emergency funds Toshiba has managed to raise.

Tsunakawa did not name any bidder, but reports in South Korea said a consortium led by the country's SK Hynix has bid over 9 billion yen for Toshiba's cash cow.

One of the sources has direct knowledge of the decision and one has been briefed on the matter.

According to a statement from Westinghouse, the strategic reshuffling will attempt to resolve financial issues relating to its United States power plant projects, while protecting its core business.

The Fairfield nuclear reactors, built near an existing SCANA reactor at the company's V.C. Summer plant, are among four under construction in the southeast. In March 2008 Energoatom and Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB (Sweden) signed a commercial contract to ship fresh fuel to three or six reactors of Ukrainian NPPs in 2011-2015.


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