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Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Toshiba in Talks with Western Digital, Foxconn Over Memory Unit Sale


Toshiba has been reportedly in talks with Western Digital and Foxconn, as well as with an already preferred bidder, as it seeks to re-ignite interest for the $18 billion sale of its chip business.

Toshiba confirmed it was in talks with suitors, but did not name them, noting it had been unable to reach an agreement by a self-imposed June 28 deadline with its preferred bidder - a group that includes state-backed fund Innovation Network Corp of Japan (INCJ), the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ), U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital and South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc.

Representatives for Western Digital and Foxconndeclined to comment.

Talks with the preferred consortium have stalled over what sources say are proposals by SK Hynix that it helps fund a deal through convertible bonds - a step that could eventually give it an equity interest in the world's second-largest maker of NAND flash memory chips.

Toshiba needs to sell its chip business to plug a hole in its balance sheet by the fiscal year-end in March, to avoid an automatic delisting of its shares from Tokyo's stock market.

The company has been reluctant to consider a deal with Western Digital, its memory chip business partner.

Last month, Western Digital sought a U.S. court injunction to prevent Toshiba selling the chip unit without its consent. A hearing on that request is scheduled for Friday. It's possible Western may reach a resolution that would give it a part in a transaction and remove the need for the injunctions before that date.

According to court documents, Western Digital said it matched rival bidders' offers to buy the flash memory unit - though the actual dollar figure of the bid was redacted.



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