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Toshiba Corp will pick a Japanese government-led group of Japanese, US and South Korean firms and funds to buy the conglomerate’s semiconductor business, if sources are to be believed.
The consortium, whose bid clears Toshiba’s 2 trillion yen($18 billion) minimum, has been seen as one of the strongest suitors for the unit, the world’s No. 2 producer of NAND chips, as it would automatically have the government’s stamp of approval.
The company needs to sell the prized chips unit to cover billions of dollars of losses from its now-bankrupt US nuclear unit.
The three-country group has been fighting to counter a 2.2 trillion yen from US chipmaker Broadcom and its partner, US private equity firm Silver Lake, which source shave said Toshiba management favours.
The consortium had told Toshiba it needs to resolve a legal dispute with Toshiba’s U.S. chip-venture partner Western Digital Corp before it will invest in the firm’s chip unit,sources briefed on the matter said before the decision.
Sources further said, that Toshiba’s board will vote on a preferred bidder and announce the result through the Tokyo Stock Exchange. A Toshiba spokeswoman said the company cannot comment on specifics of the sale process.
The Japan-U.S.-Korea bid has been orchestrated in large part by Japan’s trade ministry, which wants to keep the valuable chip unit under domestic control.
But Toshiba wants to complete the deal as quickly as possible to help cover massive cost overruns at its Westinghouse Electric Co nuclear unit, which went bankrupt in March, and to dig itself out negative shareholders’ equity that could lead to a delisting.