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Western Digital takes legal action to block sale of Toshiba's chip unit

Staff Writer |
Western Digital has sought international arbitration to stop partner Toshiba from selling its chips arm without its consent.

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This is potentially derailing a much-needed capital injection for the Japanese conglomerate.

Although the two companies jointly operate Toshiba's main semiconductor plant, Western Digital is not seen as a favored bidder for the world's second biggest NAND chip producer, having put in a much lower offer than other suitors, a source with knowledge of the matter has said.

A legal battle could delay or put an end to the auction that could fetch some $18 billion and has attracted suitors such as private equity firm KKR & Co LP (KKR.N), Taiwan's Foxconn and U.S. chipmaker Broadcom.

After months of souring relations, Western Digital said on Monday it had initiated arbitration procedures with the International Chamber of Commerce.

It is demanding Toshiba reverse a move to put its joint venture assets into a hived out entity - Toshiba Memory - and that it stop an all-out sale without consent from Western Digital unit SanDisk.

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