Toshiba to sell chip unit to Japan-US-South Korea group


Toshiba picked a Bain Capital-led consortium that includes SK Hynix as a preferred bidder for its memory unit, according to the Korean chipmaker and various media reports Wednesday, raising expectations a deal that has been dragging along since February will finally be sealed.

The decision was made by Toshiba's board and will be announced later on Wednesday, two sources said.

Toshiba said it had been negotiating with three potential groups to sell its memory business.

The team also includes major South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc. and US technology giant Apple Inc.

Apple uses Toshiba's flash memory in its iPhones and iPods.

While some had apparently expressed support for the plan, it was eventually rejected as many in the company could not overcome the distrust against the USA firm following a bitter dispute between the two companies over the sale of the unit.

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Sources familiar with the matter say that Bain will be financially backed up by major companies such as SK Hynix Inc, Apple Inc., Dell Inc., Kingston Technology, and Seagate Technology, to raise its bid.

Back in December 2016, Toshiba warned investors that it was preparing to write off several billion USA dollars because of out-of-control expenses at its American nuclear subsidiary, Westinghouse.

Late on Tuesday, sources had said Toshiba was leaning toward selling the business to its United States joint venture partner Western Digital Corp.

The agreement comes a week after Toshiba said it had signed a non-binding "memorandum of understanding" with Bain, with both sides aiming to reach a deal by the end of September.

Toshiba wants to wrap up the sale of its memory unit by the end of its fiscal year next March to fill a massive hole in its balance sheet generated by losses from its USA nuclear arm.