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Toshiba misses its own deadline for microchip unit deal

Staff Writer |
Toshiba missed a self-imposed deadline to sell a piece of its valuable microchip business Wednesday, inflicting a fresh wound on its efforts to repair its battered finances.

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The company’s admission that it had not completed a deal with its chosen buyers - a consortium of investors from Japan, the United States and South Korea - came as a rival bidder, the U.S. company Western Digital, said it had submitted a new offer for the chip unit.

“We are continuing to negotiate with the consortium,” Toshiba said in a news release, “but coordinating with its various members is taking time, and we have not reached an agreement.”

Stung by losses from nuclear power projects in the United States, Toshiba is selling a still-undisclosed portion of the microchip business to raise cash.

The business makes NAND flash memory chips used in cellphones and other digital devices, and analysts say it could be worth 2 trillion yen, or about $18 billion.

The buyers Toshiba chose last week include a Japanese government-controlled investment fund, the Innovation Network Corp.; the Development Bank of Japan, a state-owned bank; and the U.S. buyout firm Bain Capital.

The South Korean technology company SK Hynix is to provide loans to finance the deal.

Toshiba had intended to sign a final agreement with the group before its annual shareholder meeting Wednesday.

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