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21 September 2017, 12:59 | Melanie Burgess
The logo of Toshiba Corp is seen behind cherry blossoms at the company's headquarters in Tokyo Japan
The chip business is responsible for Toshiba's wide array of memory solutions, which include its latest high-efficient 3D NAND technology which has high use cases in modern smartphones, servers, and other major devices. Only last week, Western Digital looked in poll position to tie up a deal, with reports coming out of Japan that the deal was in the final stages. -South Korean consortium led by USA private equity fund Bain Capital, informed sources said. The auction has been complicated by legal action from Western Digital, which has argued it should have veto rights in any sale because of its partnership with Toshiba in the chips business.
The Bain-led group was identified as a preferred bidder nearly three months ago, but the process has been delayed by lawsuits, government opposition and corporate indecision.
While Toshiba hasn't yet made an official announcement, the company is expected to announce the decision on its homepage later Wednesday.
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Over the past few months, Toshiba had led negotiations with several groups, including those led by USA storage system firm Western Digital and Chinese tech firm Hon Hai Precision Industry.
Toshiba has been working toward the deal since January, when the struggling company announced it would be looking for bidders to acquire its lucrative chip business in an effort to raise some much-needed capital. The people declined to be identified as they were not authorized to speak on the matter. Similarly, a bid led by equity group KKR and Western Digital did not progress.
Media reports circulated that, under the new proposal, Bain had partnered with SK Hynix and brought in US tech firms such as Apple and Dell, who are both buyers of Toshiba chips, to bolster the offer that is reportedly worth some $22 billion U.S. But the MOU didn't preclude Toshiba from continuing to negotiate with other bidders.
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