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September 6, 2017

Western Digital looks to pull out of Toshiba chip business offer

If Western Digital exit the bidding process, it could accelerate the long awaited sale of the Toshiba chip business.

By Tom Ball

Storage solutions provider, Western Digital, has offered to withdraw from a consortium of companies bidding to take over the Toshiba flash memory chip business.

Western Digital is involved with joint ventures with Toshiba, and is looking to prioritise this foray, accelerating the sale of the Toshiba chip business with it out of the picture.

A $17.4 billion offer had been made by the consortium that Western Digital has offered to leave, that also includes private equity firm KKR & Co, Development Bank of Japan, and Innovation Network of Japan.

Difficulties ensued following this bid, with Western Digital’s stake in the business set to potentially lead to antitrust reviews.

Another factor contributing to the delay in the deal is an offer made by the private equity investor Bain Capital, bettering the consortium’s offer with one of 18.3 billion with backing from Apple.

Western Digital looks to pull out of Toshiba chip business offer

Time is of the essence for the sale of Toshiba’s chip business, with the end of the financial year fast approaching in March 2018. Selling off the business prior to this point could potentially secure positive equity for the company.

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Recently Toshiba made a $1.76bn investment in a new memory chip production line, leaving out its venture partner Western Digital. This investment went towards the first phase of Toshiba’s next generation flash memory.

READ MORE: Amazon close to joining Foxconn bid for Toshiba chip business – report

Western Digital has also been active recently, having acquired the flash storage company Tegile Systems. This move has brought the California based company a further 1,700 customers, in addition to widening its product portfolio.

Another recent move made by Western Digital was its move into cloud, this was achieved through the acquisition of the cloud services provider Upthere.

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