update Toshiba unit plans to buy Big Blue's point-of-sale (POS) terminal business, which includes cash registers and related devices, for 68 billion yen (US$850 million).
IBM's technology will strengthen Toshiba's cloud computing services which enables stores, shoppers, manufacturers and others to exchange information and offer services, according to its statement Tuesday.
"The opportunities in retail store solutions are expected to grow by increasing demand in POS systems. In addition, demand for multi-channel integration and enhancement of store back office management accelerates further expansion of sales," Mamoru Suzuki, president and CEO for Toshiba, said in the statement.
Toshiba also aims to close the deal late in the second quarter or early in the third quarter of 2012.
A new holding company will be established in Japan and Toshiba Tec will acquire an 80.1 percent stake in the holding company, while IBM will hold a 19.9 percent stake, which it will gradually divest.
Currently, IBM holds the top spot in the global POS terminal market, with a share of 22 percent, while Toshiba, which will make the purchase is ranked fourth worldwide with a 7 percent market share, Reuters reported on Monday, citing the Nikkei.
In a statement Wednesday, Krista Macomber, computing practice analyst at TBR, noted that the deal will position Toshiba as a leader in worldwide POS revenue as it can now look beyond Japan to 33 additional markets that IBM has a presence in.
This will create opportunities for new revenue streams to be established internationally for the Japanese IT vendor, and enable it to target new vertical markets and a broader base of customers, she explained. Toshiba can leverage IBM's knowledge base and position itself to reap the benefits of IBM's Smarter Commerce initiative, too.
The Japanese company had recently ended its mobile joint venture with Fujitsu to develop and sell mobile phones to local operators, with Fujitsu acquiring its partner's share and converting it into a wholly owned subsidiary. The Japanese IT vendor last month also acquired Western Digital's 3.5-inch HDD manufacturing equipment and intellectual property in return for its 2.5-inch HDD facility in Thailand.