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Western Digital to seek injunction to block Toshiba's $18bn chip unit sale

Staff Writer |
Western Digital said it will seek an injunction to block the sale of Toshiba's semiconductor business to a rival group, upping the ante in an acrimonious battle with its chip venture partner.

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The latest legal action by the U.S. firm, which jointly invests in Toshiba's main chip plant, comes in the wake of the Japanese conglomerate's decision last week to sell the semiconductor unit to a consortium led by Bain Capital.

The $18 billion agreement with the Bain group is, however, still unsigned, with Toshiba telling its main banks this week that Apple Inc, a member of the consortium and an important client, had yet to agree to key terms, Retuers reported.

Western Digital's injunction is being sought with the International Court of Arbitration, where the California-based company, which argues no deal can be done without its consent, initiated proceedings against its partner earlier this year.

A panel of three arbitrators may be formed as early as this week and a decision on the injunction could come late this year, which would be before any deal is finalised, a source familiar with the matter said, declining to be identified due to the sensitivity of the mattter.

A final ruling on the dispute is not expected before 2019.

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