Former Toshiba memory business to rebrand as Kioxia

The name change will take effect at the start of October.
Written by Campbell Kwan, Contributor

Toshiba Memory America has announced it will rebrand its name to Kioxia America, with the name change to officially take place in October.

According to the company, the name was inspired by the Japanese word kioku which means "memory" and the Greek word axia meaning "value".  

"Merging 'memory' with 'value', Kioxia represents the company's mission to uplift the world with 'memory', which forms the foundation of the company's vision," the company said. 

"I am delighted to take the next step in our company's evolution as we continue to enhance our position at the forefront of the memory industry," Toshiba Memory executive chairman Stacy J Smith said.

Toshiba's memory chip business was sold off to a consortium led by US private equity firm Bain Capital in June last year. The sale was worth over ¥2 trillion (roughly $18 billion), with Toshiba Memory currently being owned by a consortium that also includes Apple, SK Hynix, Dell, and Seagate Technology.

The memory chip business was formerly one of Toshiba's most lucrative divisions, but the Japanese company was forced to spin it off to offset major cost overruns from its US nuclear business. 

Toshiba's Westinghouse division -- responsible for the nuclear projects that went south -- in 2017 had a ¥712.5 billion write-down.

The sale of Toshiba's memory chip business was among a series of deals that the company has made in recent years, having also sold off its medical systems business to Canon in 2016 and 80% of its PC business to Sharp last year. 

In the process of selling the business to Canon however, both companies were fined a combined $5 million by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) for violating US antitrust laws. The fine arose due to Toshiba and Canon violating the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act when the deal was taking place. The anti-trust law requires companies intending to merge to inform the Federal Trade Commission and DoJ, as well as adhere to a waiting period before disclosing these deals publicly, which they failed to do.

Toshiba experienced a net loss of over ¥1 billion for its 2019 fiscal year. 

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