Exclusive: Toshiba's Westinghouse seeks U.S. bankruptcy financing - sources
By Jessica DiNapoli
(Reuters) - Westinghouse Electric Co LLC, the nuclear power plant developer owned by Japanese electronics company Toshiba Corp (6502.T: Quote), is taking offers for a financing package to help it go through U.S. bankruptcy, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.
Toshiba is reviewing proposals from financial institutions and investment firms about a so-called debtor-in-possession loan, which would carry the company through a potential bankruptcy, said two people familiar with the situation. The size of this financing package is expected to exceed $500 million, the people added.
Should it file for bankruptcy, the money would allow Westinghouse to continue to pay employees and build four nuclear power plants in Georgia and South Carolina, commissioned by local utility companies. These would be the first nuclear power plants built in the United States in more than 30 years.
The sources cautioned that the move is preparatory and that no decision has yet been made for Westinghouse to file for bankruptcy. They asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential.
Reuters reported earlier this month that Westinghouse was working with bankruptcy attorneys and a turnaround expert.
Toshiba has so far said it was considering several options for Westinghouse, including selling the unit.
Toshiba and Westinghouse did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Toshiba has said it would take a $6.3 billion writedown related to Westinghouse, and gained an extension from Japanese regulators until April 11 to submit financial results or face having its public shares delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Continued...