Toshiba picks consortium for chip business sale

TOKYO: Cash-strapped Japanese industrial giant Toshiba said on Wednesday it had picked a consortium led by US investor Bain Capital as the leading candidate to buy its prized chip business in a deal reportedly worth some $18 billion.
The development was the latest twist in a long-running saga as Toshiba agonises between three groups of suitors for its lucrative chip business.
The Bain Capital-led group also includes state-backed Development Bank of Japan and the public-private Innovation Network Corp of Japan as well as South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix.
Toshiba said its board of directors would continue talks with the Bain Capital-led group after it came up with a new proposal during the talks.
“The company will work to expedite the conclusion of a stock purchase agreement by the end of September,” Toshiba said.
However, Toshiba stressed that it was a “non-exclusive” agreement that “does not eliminate the possibility of negotiations with other consortia.”
Other suitors in the frame are a group led by Western Digital, Toshiba’s US-based chip factory partner and Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision, better known as Foxconn.
California-based Western Digital voiced disappointment but stressed it had not given up on its bid.
“We are disappointed that Toshiba would take this action despite Western Digital’s tireless efforts to reach a resolution that is in the best interests of all stakeholders,” it said in a statement. — AFP