In 2017, Toshiba was forced to sell off its flash memory business to stave off bankruptcy. The memory business was spun off as Toshiba Memory Corporation and sold for $18 billion to a consortium led by Bain Capital after a high-stakes bidding war. Toshiba Memory has continued to thrive as the number two manufacturer of NAND flash memory and a major player in the SSD market. Toshiba Memory has been laying the groundwork for an IPO that could happen as early as November of this year. Part of that preparation includes establishing a more independent identity form the Toshiba conglomerate that only retained about 40% ownership of the memory business.

To that end, Toshiba Memory will be rebranding as Kioxia at the beginning of October. Toshiba says the new name is a combination of kioku (Japanese for "memory") and axia (Greek for "value"). The announcement of the new name doesn't include any strategy shifts, only generic corporate platitudes. On the technology side, it's still business as usual save for recovering from the effects of a recent power outage at their fabs in Yokkaichi, Japan. On the financial side, details of their plans for an IPO are still largely unofficial and the timing may still be influenced by changing market conditions. When the Bain-led consortium acquired Toshiba Memory in 2017, the original plan was for an IPO to occur within three years, and it looks like they are on track to meet that deadline.

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Source: Toshiba

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  • willis936 - Thursday, July 18, 2019 - link

    This reminds me a lot of Fujitsu changing its name to Socionext during a merger. Yes, Japanese companies, you should torch valuable brands that customers recognize for obtuse, flimsy names.
  • guidryp - Thursday, July 18, 2019 - link

    Yikes. Never heard of Socionext. Sounds like the name of a lame social network. But Kioxia is pretty bad as well. Toshiba is well known and I think well respected brand, so I agree, this seems terrible.
  • DanNeely - Thursday, July 18, 2019 - link

    based on how similar it sounds to anoxia, I assume the people behind this were on the verge of suffocation and their brains were largely non-functional at the time the decision was made.
  • Uhtred - Thursday, July 18, 2019 - link

    From Toshiba great memory came
    yet they wanted to change their good name
    but the CEO had anoxia
    and chose the name Kioxia
    so now they just sound really lame
  • Hul8 - Thursday, July 18, 2019 - link

    They need a new name, since they're no longer part of Toshiba. Using the same name as another company would generate unnecessary confusion - especially if/when the spun-off company goes public.
  • Hul8 - Thursday, July 18, 2019 - link

    Heck, I doubt a company could even get listed at a stock exchange if they had a name that could be confused with another company.
  • QChronoD - Thursday, July 18, 2019 - link

    PR Guy 1: "Well Toshiba says we can't use thier name anymore."
    PR 2: "That's fair, so how about just dropping Toshiba and calling ourselves The Memory Corporation. We could even use the same symbol TMC as before."
    PR 1: "Not bad, simple and direct and states the companies intention of being an industry leader."
    PR 3: "I got it! Lets make up a portmanteau of word from two different languages so most people won't know how its pronounced! That way in 6 months people will start to forget who we were and think we're some generic knockoff brand."
  • FullmetalTitan - Thursday, July 18, 2019 - link

    You have stumbled upon the Bain Capital special there. They buy valuable property and bleed it dry to jack up investor profits by saddling additional debt load on the company, sabotaging them via re-branding or illogical operational changes, then rip off all the employees (good bye retirement accounts) in bankruptcy proceedings to squeeze it dry before burning it down.
  • ksec - Thursday, July 18, 2019 - link

    If I remember correctly Toshiba actually bought back most of its share from Bain Capital and there Toshiba Memory is technically stilled owned by Toshiba, just with less share holding.

    I assume this IPO will truly allow Bain Capital to own the company. Which seems like a fair deal.
  • dropme - Monday, July 22, 2019 - link

    > I assume this IPO will truly allow Bain Capital to own the company

    It's Bain's stake that will be offered, not Toshiba's.

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