Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Toshiba, Western Digital Are Negotiating on Deal, Kyodo Says

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Toshiba Corp. is in advanced discussions to sell its chips unit to a consortium that includes Western Digital Corp., switching from a previously announced preferred bidding group led by Bain Capital, Kyodo News reported.

The board of the Japanese electronics manufacturer is meeting Thursday to discuss the new offer by a group that includes Western Digital, KKR & Co., Innovation Network Corp. of Japan and other investors, the news agency reported without citing sources. Their bid is for 1.9 trillion yen ($17.4 billion), Kyodo said.

Western Digital and Toshiba, which are partners in the memory chip business, have been embroiled in a legal battle over the Japanese company’s plans to sell the division. Toshiba had announced in June a preliminary agreement to sell the unit to Bain Capital, INCJ and the Development Bank of Japan, but Western Digital sought to block the deal. Toshiba, which needs to raise cash by the end of March to avoid being delisted, is switching to the Western Digital consortium in order to complete a sale by that deadline, Kyodo reported.

Toshiba has informed its main banks of the new negotiations, and is seeking to complete an agreement with the new bidders by the end of this month, Kyodo said. Western Digital may participate in the new bid by offering financing in the amount of several hundred billion yen, Kyodo reported.

A Toshiba representative said the company doesn’t comment on bidding details.

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