China approves Toshiba's plan to sell chip unit

China approves Toshiba's plan to sell chip unit”

The government of China will not stand in the way of the Toshiba Memory Corporation's sale to United States investment house Bain Capital. In addition, Toshiba will retain a 40 per cent stake and, together with technology firm Hoya, will ensure that Japanese companies retain a controlling stake of just over 50 per cent.

The group is scheduled to meet with Toshiba's top executives to ink the deal on June 1. Toshiba was apparently so convinced the deal was dead and buried that it had even developed contingency plans that included possibly taking its memory business public or offering its sale to an alternative consortium. Sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday that there had yet to be any concrete breakthrough in China.

The Bain consortium includes South Korea's SK Hynix, which also makes NAND flash chips, as well as Apple, Dell, Seagate and Kingston Technology.

China's decision to give the deal the thumbs up comes as a surprise, as Toshiba recently said it had "mostly given up" on the $18 billion sale because Beijing authorities indicated they would not give it the green light. It is no longer desperate for cash after a $5.4 billion new share issue to foreign investors late previous year and some activist shareholders oppose the sale, arguing it significantly undervalues the unit.

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