Western Digital May Spend $17.4B on Toshiba's Chip Business

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Toshiba has been looking to sell its chip business for quite some time now, and has been shopping around looking for buyers. And now according to sources of Reuters, it appears that it may have a buyer – which is a consortium that includes Western Digital. In addition to Western Digital, this consortium does also include a private equity firm from the US, KKR & CO. As well as Innovation Network Corp of Japan and the Development Bank of Japan, of which will offer 300 billion yen each, of the 1.9 trillion yen the consortium is offering Toshiba. There are also some other Japanese firms that will be investing around 50 billion yen each, and this is to ensure that around 60% of the company is controlled by domestic firms.

Toshiba has been shopping its memory chip business around to sell to help offset the losses that its US nuclear business has suffered as of late. This is a big deal for Toshiba and other companies in the memory chip business like Western Digital, seeing as Toshiba has the biggest market share. As expected, there has been a lot of buyers interested in picking up the chip business from Toshiba, but so far no one has made a deal that Toshiba has been unable to refuse. Toshiba still has not commented on this proposed deal here – but it’s also important to remember that Toshiba cannot comment until the deal is official, or it could face more legal issues.

The company is looking to settle in with a buyer by the end of this month. Since a deal would take about 6 months or more for the regulatory process to complete and the sale be approved, Toshiba needs to get it sorted by the end of August, or it’ll take a huge hit on its earnings. That is obviously something that no publicly-traded company wants to do. For Toshiba this is a big deal because it does not want to report negative net worth or have liabilities exceeding assets for a second year in a row, as that could result in Toshiba being delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Toshiba’s fiscal year ends in March.