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Toshiba favors Bain group for chip sale; Western Digital talks stall

13 September, 2017, 05:43 | Author: Jeff Stephens
  • In repeated confusions the “Korea-U.S.-Japan alliance,” including SK Hynix has launched its counterattack by offering to provide 400 billion yen additionally

The official announcement is expected to be made on September 20 after a scheduled Toshiba board meeting.

2017 NAND chip market leaders by share: Samsung, 37%; Toshiba, 21%; Western Digital's SanDisk, 14% (NYSE:WDC); Micron (NASDAQ:MU), 13%; SK Hynix, 12%; Intel, 3%.

Toshiba Corp. has once again chose to hold off on making a decision on the buyer of its chip unit at a board meeting as negotiations with a Western Digital Corp. -led group have stalled, sources close to the matter said Tuesday.

The NAND flash market is forecast to top US$65 billion in 2020, up from US$40 billion in 2017, according to data from a ChinaFlashMarket.com report.

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Toshiba did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Yoshimitsu Kobayashi, an external Toshiba director, told reporters earlier on Tuesday that although the deadline is important, it is also important that negotiations head in a good direction.

Just yesterday, it looked like Western Digital were set to miss out on the deal, after a consortium led by Bain submitted a $22 billion bid of its own.

A Western Digital spokeswoman also declined to comment. The board wants the sale, beset by legal wrangling and revised bids, to be decided by Wednesday when it meets, separate people involved in the talks previously told Reuters. The sale iinvolves 18 Billion and is sold to a consortium in which Western Digital (who a year ago acquired Sandisk as well) has a large stake. KKR & Co LP and Japanese government investors, as well as Bain Capital and South Korea's SK Hynix, and Foxconn are among those also tipped for the deal, however WD seems poised to be successful.

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The latest decision comes after Toshiba had been inclined to seal a deal with a group led by Western Digital, which has jointly invested in Toshiba's Yokkaichi flash memory plant in central Japan.

The WDC-led bid group includes the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) and sundry Japanese companies, including, somewhat oddly, Toshiba itself.

The report further noted that "All three bidder groups have roped in major chip buyer Apple Inc to bolster their offers, sources have said".

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