Western Digital CEO Said to Be in Japan to Finalise Toshiba Chip Deal

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FILE PHOTO: A Western Digital office building under construction is shown in Irvine, California, U.S., January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo


Western Digital’s chief executive is in Tokyo to finalise an agreement to buy Toshiba’s memory chip business, ending months of dispute over the auction, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday.

Toshiba is scrambling to sell its flash memory unit to cover losses from its bankrupt US nuclear business Westinghouse.

A group including Western Digital, US private equity firm KKR & Co and Japanese government investors are offering around JPY 1.9 trillion ($17.3 billion or roughly Rs. 1,11,298 crores)) for the unit, separate sources previously told Reuters. The US firm is offering JPY 150 billion (roughly Rs. 8,785 crores) through convertible bonds, they said.

The group and Toshiba aim to announce a deal by August 31 when Toshiba’s board meets, other people said on Monday.

Both Western Digital and Toshiba declined to comment. A KKR representative could not be immediately reached.

Some senior Toshiba executives had initially balked at Western Digital’s offer, but sources said on Friday that the US firm took a conciliatory tack and decided not to seek a management role in the new business and limit its stake to no more than one-third even when it converts the bonds to equity.

Toshiba and Western Digital are the world’s second and third largest producer of NAND chips.


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