Western Digital Corp., one of a number of parties interested in purchasing Toshiba Corp.’s memory chip unit, is not looking for a management role in the business, individuals with knowledge of the situation told Reuters on Friday. Toshiba is scrambling to pitch its flash memory unit to cover misfortunes from its bankrupt U.S. nuclear business Westinghouse. A consortium that includes Western Digital is putting forth around 1.9 trillion yen ($17.3 billion) for the unit, with the U.S. firm offering 150 billion yen through convertible securities.
Western Digital will at first not look for voting rights and will guarantee to constrain its voting rights to close to 33 percent, even after it changes over its bonds to shares, said the source on Friday, who talked under the condition of anonymity because the discussions were classified.
Western Digital’s propitiatory offer comes in the midst of what sources have depicted as attentiveness among Toshiba’s chip business administrators of an arrangement with the U.S. organization. Ties between the two organizations soured rapidly after Western Digital purchased SanDisk, Toshiba’s memory chip business accomplice for a long time, a year ago in May because they neglected to concede to terms of another joint venture contract.
Western Digital has also taken Toshiba to court after the Japanese conglomerate initially picked a different group including South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc. as the preferred bidder, arguing that it needs to consent to any sale. Western Digital declined to comment.
Toshiba has said it could not comment on details of talks. Sources have said Toshiba wants to close the sale by the end of the fiscal year in March to ensure it does not report negative net worth or liabilities exceeding assets for a second year – a scenario that could result in delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Given regulatory approvals could take more than six months, the company have been hoping to reach a deal by the end of the month to ensure it can close the sale in the given timeframe. Toshiba’s board plans to vote on Western Digital’s offer on Aug. 31 if the two sides can agree on a deal, the people said.