Toshiba to sell memory business for $18 billion

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While the talk between Toshiba and Western Digital reached an impasse Toshiba announced last week that it would once again focus on negotiations with the Bain-led consortium.

Western Digital has tried to block the sale in court, but so far the company has been unsuccessful in halting the sale completely.

The Bain-led group was identified as a preferred bidder nearly three months ago, but the process has been delayed by the lawsuits, government opposition and corporate indecision. One consortium included Bain Capital, the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan and the Development Bank of Japan. The transaction includes Toshiba's $3.1 billion investment in the unit, as well as stakes from Apple Inc. Western Digital had originally been part of the KKR group, but agreed to withdraw because of opposition from Toshiba.

Toshiba planned to conclude a deal on the sale of the unit, Toshiba Memory Corp., within the day and make an announcement later, according to the sources.

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The race for acquiring the Toshiba unit intensified recently as the Bain-SK Hynix alliance raised its offer to 2.4 trillion yen, higher than the initial offer of 1.94 trillion yen, after WD raised its own offer from the initial 1.9 trillion yen. The company said the cases "continue to move forward", but did not say when it expects the arbitration hearing.

Toshiba on September 13 signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Bain Capital-led consortium for the sale of its memory chip business. Under the revised proposal, Toshiba could buy back equity from INCJ and Development Bank of Japan later, the people said.

While $18 billion is a lot, tech manufacturing giant Foxconn was reportedly offering as much as $28 billion with the support of heavyweights like Amazon and Apple.

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