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Bain-Led Group to buy Toshiba chip unit in $18 billion deal

21 September 2017

But one of sources speaking on Wednesday said Toshiba and Western Digital had failed to agree on limits to the USA firm's future stake in the chip business that had been demanded by the Japanese company.

Currently, Toshiba and Western Digital together represent 35 percent of the global NAND flash output, according to DRAMeXchange.

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Toshiba's board has agreed to sell the company's Nand flash memory chip business for ¥2.1 trillion ($18.9 billion) to a consortium that includes private equity group Bain Capital and Apple, The Financial Times reports. A Western Digital spokesman declined comment. The Japanese company disputes that and sued Western Digital for more than $1 billion for interfering in the auction.

The Bain-led group was identified as a preferred bidder nearly three months ago, but the process has been delayed by lawsuits, government opposition and corporate indecision. The joint ventures, which are important for Western Digital to control manufacturing and pricing of the chips, are worth less than 5 percent of the chips unit, the person said.

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USA private equity firm Bain Capital will lead the worldwide consortium, along with other investors such as Apple, which has reportedly invested at least $3bn.

The board has made its decision for the Bain group, three sources told the news service, and they said the company would announce it later Wednesday. Bain is thought to have support from Apple, Dell and SK Hynix, as well as other memory consumers. The company said the cases "continue to move forward", but did not say when it expects the arbitration hearing.

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A week ago Patently Apple posted a report titled "Toshiba Signs Memorandum of Understanding with Bain Capital's Consortium for Toshiba Memory Corporation". Apple, Dell and other USA tech firms have also reportedly joined the consortium.

Bain-Led Group to buy Toshiba chip unit in $18 billion deal