Toshiba picks US-led group for chip business sale

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TOKYO: Cash-strapped Japanese industrial giant Toshiba said Wednesday it had picked a US-led consortium 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 the state-backed Development Bank of Japan and South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix.

Toshiba said in a statement that its board of directors had “determined to continue negotiations with the Bain-led consortium,” which had come up with a new proposal.

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.

The sale is seen as crucial for the struggling Toshiba to plug massive losses at its US nuclear division, Westinghouse Electric.

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