Agree­ment to sell Toshiba’s mem­ory-chip busi­ness may be de­layed

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT | INTERNATIONAL - Takako Taniguchi

TOSHIBA’S an­nounce­ment of a fi­nal agree­ment to sell its mem­ory-chip busi­ness might be de­layed be­yond the elec­tron­ics maker’s self-im­posed dead­line this week, as Bain Cap­i­tal and Ja­panese in­vestors work out the struc­ture of the deal, peo­ple with knowl­edge of the mat­ter said yes­ter­day.

When an­nounc­ing the pre­ferred bid­ders last week, Toshiba said that it planned to reach an agree­ment by to­mor­row and close the trans­ac­tion by March next year.

The In­no­va­tion Net­work Cor­po­ra­tion of Ja­pan (INCJ) and the De­vel­op­ment Bank of Ja­pan (DBJ), which joined Bain Cap­i­tal, are not in a hurry to reach a fi­nal agree­ment as they con­duct due dili­gence, be­cause their par­tic­i­pa­tion will not re­quire a lengthy an­titrust re­view process, said one of the peo­ple, who asked not to be iden­ti­fied, be­cause the ne­go­ti­a­tions are pri­vate.

Another per­son said the out­line of the deal may change, de­pend­ing on what hap­pens with Western Dig­i­tal, which jointly owns cer­tain chip as­sets with Toshiba and has con­tested its author­ity to sell the semi­con­duc­tor unit.

Kaori Hi­raki, a spokesper­son for Toshiba, said there was no change in the sched­ule.

Satoshi Tsunakawa, Toshiba’s pres­i­dent, said on Fri­day that the com­pany was on track to reach a fi­nal agree­ment on the sale.

Bain, the INCJ and the DBJ have in­di­cated that they’re will­ing to pay ¥2.1 tril­lion (R244 billion) for the semi­con­duc­tor unit, peo­ple with knowl­edge of the mat­ter have said.

The di­vest­ment brings much­needed cash into Toshiba, which is seek­ing to make up for losses in its nu­clear op­er­a­tions.

The sup­port of two state­backed en­ti­ties was con­sid­ered cru­cial to win gov­ern­ment ap­proval for a deal. – Bloomberg

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