* Offers shares in group cos as collateral for existing
* Offers memory chip unit stake as collateral also for new
* Asks creditors to give their agreement by April 14
* Some smaller creditors balk at the collateral offer
(Recasts with creditor meeting, new loan request)
By Taiga Uranaka
TOKYO, April 4 Toshiba Corp asked
creditor banks for a new loan and offered as collateral a stake
in its memory chip unit that is being split off, sources said,
underlining the firm's growing financial woes as it braces for a
multi-billion dollar loss.
The TVs-to-construction Japanese conglomerate expects to
book a net loss of about $9 billion for the year ended March,
due to a writedown related to cost overruns at its U.S. nuclear
unit Westinghouse that recently went bankrupt. Toshiba has put
up most or even all of its prized chip unit - the world's No.2
producer of NAND chips - to cope with this financial maelstrom.
On Tuesday, in a meeting with creditor banks, Toshiba asked
for "a new lending facility", said sources with direct knowledge
of the matter, who did not want to be named as they were not
authorised to discuss the matter publicly. It has previously
requested creditors not to call in their loans.
The company did not say how much it was looking for in new
loans, most of the sources said. But one source said Toshiba may
seek a new loan worth around 300 billion yen ($2.7 billion).
A stake in the memory chip unit was offered as collateral
both for a new loan and for existing loan commitments worth 680
billion yen provided by major lenders, sources said. Loan
commitments are a promise to lend upon a borrower's request.
It again offered shares in group companies such as Toshiba
Tec Corp and real estate properties as collateral for
existing loans, said the sources, adding the conglomerate had
asked creditors to give their nod by April 14.
A Toshiba spokesman confirmed the meeting, but declined to
elaborate on the specifics of the discussion.
The collateral offer is part of Toshiba's efforts to secure
the support of its lenders, some of whom have become growingly
frustrated with the conglomerate's financial troubles.
Some smaller creditors have also balked at the collateral
offer, as bigger lenders are seen receiving the most valuable
chip unit shares, the sources said.
Shares in Toshiba plunged for a second straight day after
Reuters reported the troubled conglomerate would likely miss a
third deadline to report its quarterly business results, which
could force the firm to ask for a fresh extension or face a
possible delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Asked about Toshiba's potential delay, Japanese Trade
Minister Hiroshige Seko said it was important for listed
companies to have sufficient information disclosure and to
ensure effective corporate governance.
Toshiba shares ended down 9.4 percent on Tuesday, following
a 5.5 percent drop the previous day.
($1 = 110.4600 yen)
(Additional reporting by Makiko Yamazaki, Ami Miyazaki and Taro
Fuse; Editing by Randy Fabi and Himani Sarkar)