(Bloomberg) -- Toshiba Corp. has chosen additional banks to help it evaluate takeover interest, as Blackstone Inc. explores teaming up with KKR & Co. on a joint bid for the Japanese conglomerate, people with knowledge of the matter said.
The Tokyo-based company plans to bring on JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. to work alongside Nomura Holdings Inc. as it weighs strategic alternatives including a privatization, the people said. Toshiba could announce the appointments as soon as this week, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.
CVC Capital Partners and Bain Capital have also been weighing potential offers for Toshiba, Bloomberg News has reported. CVC is speaking to several buyout firms as well as local Japanese funds, including some with state backing, about joining forces, the people said.
Discussions are at a preliminary stage, and the firms could decide not to move ahead with proposals, the people said.
A representative for Toshiba referred to a previous announcement that it planned to add external advisers as necessary, declining to elaborate further. Representatives for Blackstone, JPMorgan and Mizuho declined to comment, while spokespeople for CVC and KKR didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Toshiba said on April 21 that it planned to start soliciting proposals from potential investors, and that it had hired Nomura as financial adviser. The company’s board of directors and the special committee picked UBS Group AG, in order to be advised independently from the management team.
The interest from investors shows that major private equity funds see an opportunity at the troubled Japanese firm, where management and shareholders have been at odds for years over the company’s future. A buyout of Toshiba, which has a market capitalization of about $18 billion, could be private equity’s biggest ever deal in the country.
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