Toshiba to sell memory business for $18 billion

by Leslie Wood September 21, 2017, 0:33
Toshiba to sell memory business for $18 billion

JAPAN'S Toshiba Corp agreed yesterday to sell its prized semiconductor business to a group led by U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital LP, a key step in keeping the struggling Japanese conglomerate listed on the Tokyo exchange.

But it's unclear whether the decision by Toshiba's board will mean the sale will now proceed smoothly, as rival suitor Western Digital Corp has initiated legal action, arguing no deal can be done without its consent due to its position as Toshiba's joint venture chip partner.

Toshiba Corp. will sell its prized chip unit to a Japan-U.S.

The Bain consortium is led by an investment of at least $3 billion by Apple Inc., Dell Inc., Seagate, Kingston and the South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix.

As Toshiba nears the completion of its deal, Western Digital said it remains confident that the ICC International Court of Arbitration will rule in its favor in its case against Toshiba. The people declined to be identified as they were not authorized to speak on the matter.

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Earlier news reports said that the Japanese chip company had been delaying the final decision for sale as part of its efforts to raise the bidding price. The consortium includes USA fund Bain Capital, Development Bank of Japan and SK hynix.

The deal follows a period of uncertainty in which Toshiba was negotiating with a number of groups and, reportedly, also considering changing its mind about selling the unit.

The company needs the cash to plug a giant hole in its finances from its bankrupt US nuclear unit Westinghouse Electric Corp.

On Tuesday, sources had said Toshiba was leaning towards selling the branch to its US joint venture partner Western Digital Corp. All because of the legal action launched by Toshiba's scorned JV partner in the chipmaking business, U.S. group Western Digital.


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