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By Ceyda Caglayan
ISTANBUL, April 10 (Reuters) - Turkey's Vestel is in talks to buy the television unit of Japan's Toshiba Corp , a Vestel official said on Monday, a deal that could be worth a few hundred million dollars and could expand the Turkish firm's global presence. "Vestel is in talks with Toshiba," the official said, declining to be identified, when asked by Reuters about a report it was in negotiations to the buy the unit.
Japan's Nikkei newspaper on Saturday said Vestel was a potential bidder for the unit, which it said could fetch a few hundred million dollars. Chinese companies are also among the potential buyers, it said. Toshiba expects to complete the sale by the end of next March, the Nikkei said.
Toshiba, a televisions-to-construction conglomerate, is looking to sell off non-core assets. It expects to book a net loss of about $9 billion for the year that ended in March, due to a writedown related to cost overruns at its U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse that recently went bankrupt.
Vestel, a maker of electronics and home appliances, last year signed a five-year agreement with Toshiba, giving it the right to produce and sell televisions under the Toshiba brand in Europe.
Vestel accounts for 85 percent of the televisions and 29 percent of the white goods exported from Turkey.
Shares of Vestel were up 3.2 percent at 7.04 lira at 0725 GMT in Istanbul, while Toshiba shares were up 6.3 percent at 229.7 yen in Tokyo.
Reporting by David Dolan; Editing by Daren Butler