Toshiba set to sign chip unit sale to US-SKorea-Japan group – report


TOKYO: Toshiba was set to sign a deal shortly to sell its prized memory chip business to a consortium of US, South Korean and state-backed Japanese investors, a leading business daily said Tuesday.

The loss-hit conglomerate is to sign the deal in the next couple of days in a crucial step to raise money for its revival, the Nikkei newspaper said.

Toshiba has taken massive losses in its US nuclear operations that have raised doubts about the future of one of Japan’s best-known companies.

The firm said last week that it would hold exclusive talks with a consortium including the public-private Innovation Network Corp of Japan, the state-backed Development Bank of Japan, and US private equity fund Bain Capital.

The company said it is aiming to finalise the sale of its chip business by a general shareholders’ meeting set for Wednesday.

“As we said last week, we are working toward making a final contract by (June) 28th,” Toshiba spokesman Yukihito Uchida told AFP.

The alliance’s bid for Toshiba’s coveted flash-memory business is reportedly worth more than 2 trillion yen ($18 billion), the Nikkei said without citing sources.

South Korean chip giant SK Hynix will participate as a lender in the deal, it said.

Toshiba on Friday delayed the release of its long-overdue earnings—the latest in a string of delays—with the troubled conglomerate saying it needed more time to finish accounting work at its loss-hit US nuclear unit Westinghouse Electric (WEC), which is now sitting in bankruptcy protection.

The sale of the memory chip business also faces hurdles as US chip factory partner Western Digital tries to block the sale with a court injunction.

Shares in Toshiba were down 0.73 percent at 296 yen in early trade after the Nikkei report.



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