Toshiba chairman quits amid $A8b loss

Ailing Toshiba looks to book ¥500 billion April-December loss

Ailing Toshiba looks to book ¥500 billion April-December loss

Westinghouse was behind the acquisition of a US construction company, CB&I Stone & Webster, in 2015.

The extraordinary resignation of Toshiba's chief executive over £5bn worth of losses in the nuclear power industry has thrown the future of a planned Toshiba built nuclear power plant in the Copeland constituency to the heart of next week's knife edge by-election.

Your current subscription does not provide access to this content. It said a law firm hired by Toshiba had interviewed those involved in the issue and found inconsistencies in their stories.

The company has also launched a probe into whether there was potential inappropriate conduct during its 2015 acquisition of Westinghouse, Nikkei reported.

The company said it was in talks with U.S. regulators to receive approval to delay its earnings report until 14 March, as it continues to probe the Westinghouse business it acquired 10 years ago.

Toshiba will be downgraded to the Tokyo Stock Exchange's second section from the first section if it posts excessive liabilities for the year through March. Hours later, it released earnings guidance and unaudited numbers anyway.

Toshiba chairman Shigenori Shiga has resigned as the Japanese conglomerate teeters on the edge of collapse after posting a provisional ¥500 billion ($AU5.7 billion) loss for the nine months to December 31. So selling assets is the only way forward.

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According to sources close to the matter, losses related to its US nuclear business are likely to reach around $5 billion.

NAND flash memory, used in smartphones and solid state disk drives, is one of the few bright spots in Toshiba's sprawling portfolio, which also includes personal computers, TVs, railway systems and elevators. But it just amplified that problem. Toshiba later admitted it may have overestimated the value of CB&I Stone and Webster. Following a series of reported losses, the company has announced that it will place its nuclear business directly under the president and downsize its overseas nuclear business.

Toshiba has been struggling with its nuclear business as demands for nuclear power plants have slowed since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. Toshiba denied it had purposely covered up the problems.

Toshiba claimed "we need further research on the internal reporting ... and its impact on financial results" regarding its acquisition of a major contractor responsible for the construction of several nuclear power plants in the US.

The losses have gotten so big that they could topple a company whose roots go back to 1875, the dawn of Japan's modern era. It still has a sprawling business spanning household appliances, railways, hydrogen energy and elevator systems.

"It is so unfortunate that this has happened", said Ryoji Sato, a company director, when asked by a reporter about the company's promises to come clean.

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