Toshiba sells memory business for $18bn

Exclusive - Toshiba flips back to favouring Western Digital group for chip unit sale: sources

The consortium led by USA fund Bain Capital includes Innovation Network Corp of Japan, the Development Bank of Japan and South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc, while Apple Inc, Dell Inc and other US technology companies have also joined the group.

Representatives for Toshiba and SK Hynix declined to comment on the report.

Sources close to the deal told The Financial Times that the deal was likely to be signed on Wednesday after some minor details were clarified.

The division is the world's No.2 producer of NAND memory chips with the product being used in Apple's iPhones and iPods.

But one of sources speaking on Wednesday said Toshiba and Western Digital had failed to agree on limits to the US firm's future stake in the chip business that had been demanded by the Japanese company.

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The sale of the Toshiba memory chip unit should remove the looming threat.

Back in December 2016, Toshiba warned investors that it was preparing to write off several billion USA dollars because of out-of-control expenses at its American nuclear subsidiary, Westinghouse. Toshiba will negotiate exclusively with the group to quickly seal a deal. The Bain group includes other companies such as SK Hynix, Dell, and others.

The group needs the proceeds to plug a huge hole in its shareholder equity created by massive writedowns on its United States nuclear business.

Fellow storage giant Western Digital had been thought to be in pole position to snap up Toshiba's operation, with shares in the company falling following the Bain Capital news. One consortium included Bain Capital, the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan and the Development Bank of Japan.

While the talk between Toshiba and Western Digital reached an impasse Toshiba announced last week that it would once again focus on negotiations with the Bain-led consortium.

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