Toshiba is selling its ailing PC business to rival Sharp in a deal valued at just $36m.
The purchase marks a return to the PC market for Sharp, which quit PC making in 2010. It is expected to leverage the manufacturing scale of contract manufacturer Foxconn, which now controls Sharp, to make PCs more cheaply.
Sharp is taking an 80.1 per cent stake in the business, according to Reuters, while Toshiba will hold on to just under 20 per cent, presumably for old time's sake.
The transaction comes a week after Toshiba finally completed its sale of Toshiba Memory Corporation to a consortium led by private equity firm Bain Capital - in a deal structured to ensure that Japanese companies retain control.
The sale is part of the company's recovery programme that will see it focus on engineering and non-consumer electronics. Toshiba also sold its television business to China's Hisense in November 2011, while its white goods business was offloaded to Chinese appliance manufacturer Midea Group in March 2016.
Ten years ago Toshiba was a top-five global PC vendor with a reputation for making solid laptop computers, a segment it entered in 1985.
However, after the PC market went into reverse Toshiba struggled and, in 2015, was found to have inflated the profitability of its PC business for the previous six or so years to the tune of $1.2 billion - one of a number of accounting scandals to hit the once-great conglomerate.
Toshiba withdrew from the European market in 2016 after scaling back in Belgium, Italy and Switzerland in 2014, and stopped making consumer laptops in the same year as part of a radical retrenchment.
At the same time, it ripped up OEM manufacturing deals with contractors and took manufacturing in-house, concentrating it at its own factory in Hang Zhou in China.
Toshiba has been in computers since the 1980s, helping to develop the eight-bit MSX standard, but making an early the shift from proprietary PCs, which dominated the Japanese business market throughout the 1980s, to the standard established by IBM.
Sharp, meanwhile, has been making computers since the 1970s, starting with the Sharp MZ80K.
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