Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Western Digital still disagrees with Toshiba's consortium victor

Toshiba is having troubles but its microchip tech is turning in profits Toshiba is having troubles but its microchip tech is turning in profits
Mae Harvey | 28 June, 2017, 02:32

"Western Digital resubmitted a bid with KKR where Western Digital will provide debt financing to facilitate a sale by Toshiba Corporation of its interests in the NAND Flash Memory joint venture", the US company said in a statement Monday.

As part of the bid, Western Digital will provide debt financing to facilitate a sale, the USA firm said in a brief statement.

The U.S. partner has strongly opposed Toshiba's plan to sell Toshiba Memory Corp., saying that any sale without its consent breaches a joint venture contract.

But the preferred bidder, a group led by Japanese government investors and including USA private equity firm Bain Capital, has not agreed on conditions of the deal, two sources familiar with the talks said.

Toshiba has set itself a self-imposed deadline of Wednesday, the day of the company's annual shareholder meeting, to sign a definitive agreement for sale of the unit.

Toshiba did not have an immediate comment.

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Earlier in the process, Western Digital attempted to block Toshiba from selling the semiconductor business as it shares ownership of a highly regarded NAND flash semiconductor factory in Japan via three joint-venture agreements. -South Korean consortium on the sale of its chip unit, as the company needs more time to finalize details, people familiar with the matter said Tuesday. Western Digital already filed for arbitration with Toshiba in May, but now a more serious legal battle between the two companies is looking more likely.

For several months, Western Digital has argued that Toshiba can not sell its memory business to a third party without permission because the segment includes joint ventures with Western Digital's subsidiary, Sandisk.

The U.S. company sought arbitration with an worldwide court in May and asked a U.S. court to block the sale this month.

"This potential course of action would make further litigation inevitable", the letter said.

Sources have also said that Western Digital's concerns about SK Hynix are shared by some Toshiba board members.

SK Hynix would go together with Bain Capital to provide $7.6B of the chip unit financing but would have to stay out of the management aspects of the unit due to antitrust laws.

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