Swiss tech firm in $2.5 billion Toshiba deal

Toshiba and its Japanese partners plan to buy Swiss metering technology firm Landis+Gyr for 200 billion yen ($2.5 billion), local media said on Tuesday.

The Japanese electronics giant has obtained preferential negotiation rights with an Australian investment group that has the major stake in the Swiss

firm, the Asahi Shimbun and the Nikkei business daily said.

The two sides are likely to reach a final agreement as early as the end of this week in a deal aimed at enhancing Toshiba’s competitiveness in the next-generation power grid market, the two dailies said.

Toshiba will provide more than half the funds for the deal, which is being pursued with other parties, including a Japanese quasi-governmental fund, the papers said.

Landis+Gyr is a leading maker of smart meters largely seen as key equipment for next-generation power grids. Smart meters can remotely collect information on usage and capacity in real time for efficient power supplies.

A Toshiba spokesman said the firm was looking to strengthen its smart power grid business but declined to comment on the reports.