Toshiba Reportedly Agrees To Sell Memory Chip Unit To Bain Group

Toshiba Reportedly Agrees To Sell Memory Chip Unit To Bain Group”

-South Korean consortium as a preferred bidder to buy its memory chip business unit.

California-based Western Digital made key concessions to assure Toshiba it wouldn't seek future control of the chip business, addressing antitrust concerns and turning the tide away from the bid led by USA private equity firm Bain Capital LP and SK Hynix Inc 000660.KS , said the sources, who asked not to be named as the discussions are private.

The Bain consortium includes backing from Apple Inc. and Dell Inc., people familiar with the matter have said. Toshiba's chose Bain over a group led by KKR & Co. and two state-backed funds, Innovation Network Corp. of Japan and Development Bank of Japan. Last week, Toshiba signed a memorandum of understanding with Bain, with the goal of reaching a final deal before the end of the month.

For SK hynix, the world's fifth NAND flash maker, the group's acquisition of the Toshiba unit is expected to help raise competitiveness of the chip business. But the MOU didn't preclude Toshiba from continuing to negotiate with other bidders.

The insider said the company is awaiting Toshiba's official announcement.

The Toshiba/Western Digital talks broke down again this time around limits to WDC's future stake in Toshiba Memory that Toshiba had demanded, according to the report. The total INCJ-KKR bid is about 1.9 trillion yen, they said, less than what the Bain group is offering. To complete the sale, Toshiba may have to overcome resistance from joint venture partner Western Digital Corp. But Western Digital agreed to withdraw from that consortium because of opposition from Toshiba, people familiar with the matter have said.

The memory business was spun off into a separate subsidiary back in April.

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