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Western Digital set to buy Toshiba's chip business

13 September, 2017, 10:35 | Author: Jeff Stephens
  • Toshiba faced with choice that could mean an anti-trust investigation on the one hand and legal action from Western Digital on the other

While Western Digital is very much in the driver's seat in talks, it has made several key concessions to secure a deal that Toshiba is willing to accept and that will keep the unit out of the hands of rival chip firms, sources have said. Toshiba had been concentrating on settling negotiations with Western Digital by tomorrow, allowing it to meet the deadline imposed by its banks.

As well as the Western Digital-backed consortium, which also includes KKR & Co LP, Toshiba has said it is considering a bid led by Bain Capital LP and SK Hynix Inc 000660.KS , and one by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (Foxconn) 2317.TW .

Toshiba is hoping to quickly sell the chip unit to cover up massive losses stemming from its now-bankrupt USA nuclear unit.

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Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ:WDC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. It says 1,000 employees have left Toshiba in the past three months and says uncertainty over the Memory Business future and relatively poor pay and bonus payments have fed employee dissatisfaction.

Tuesday's reversion to the Bain group contradicts a report earlier in the day in the Nikkan Kogyo business daily that Toshiba had chosen the Western Digital bid and would announce the deal on Wednesday.

The moves come as a team including USA hard disk drive maker Western Digital Corp.is now viewed as leading the bidding race.

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A consortium containing Western Digital remains a top bidder but Toshiba and Apple have reportedly expressed concerns about the company possibly taking control of the chip unit rather than remaining an investor. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 88,207 shares of the company's stock, valued at approximately $7,142,120.79. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 133,445 shares of company stock valued at $11,728,114.

Apple (AAPL) is said to be involved with the SK Hynix and Bain Capital group. Western Digital Corporation now has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $111.34.

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