Is Sony Acquiring Toshiba’s Image Sensor Business?

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Sony is already the largest image sensor supplier in the smartphone industry. And if you take a look at this report from Reuters, you will realize that Sony’s domination in the image sensor business is about to grow. The report claims that Toshiba Corp is set to sell its image sensor business to Sony Corp for around 20 billion yen ($164.68 million) as part of a restructuring plan laid out earlier this year.

Toshiba is undergoing a corporate accounting scandal after revelations that it overstated earnings to the tune of $1.3 billion over the last seven years. After the resignation of CEO Hisao Tanaka, interim chief executive and chairman Masashi Muromachi laid out a restructuring plan to reform the company. The image sensor sale would be one of the first moves in that process.

Image sensors are used in digital cameras and smartphones. These are part of Toshiba’s system LSI semiconductor business. The company is considering several options for its system LSI semiconductor business and its discrete semiconductor business. Toshiba plans to sell its image sensor manufacturing plant in Oita, southern Japan, and pull out of the sensor business altogether, according to Reuters.

Earlier this month, Sony announced that they would be spinning off their image sensor business into a separate company. According to the official press release,

In the semiconductor business, where image sensors are a primary area of focus, Sony will establish Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation (“Sony Semiconductor Solutions”) to further reinforce this business, and concentrate on sustained growth.

Prior to that, Sony’s CEO had also reiterated how important the business is to them and will be quadrupling the spending on semiconductors to a whopping $2.4 billion to help meet demand from companies such as Apple and Samsung.