Toshiba announced that its board of directors have selected the consortium of Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, Bain Capital Private Equity L P, and Development Bank of Japan as a preferred bidder for its memory semiconductor business.
Toshiba stated in its release “Consortium has presented the best proposal, not only in terms of valuation, but also in respect to certainty of closing, retention of employees, and maintenance of sensitive technology within Japan.”
Toshiba had offered to sell its memory business to potential acquirers. But the sales proposal process was not going smooth according to various media reports.
The other bidders include Western Digital, and Foxconn. Western Digital had acquired Sandisk, a partner of Toshiba. Foxconn has EMS operations mainly in Taiwan and China.
Western Digital has sought injunction to block Toshiba’s sale of memory chip business. Western Digital complaint is Toshiba can not transfer its joint venture interests without the consent of Western Digital. Toshiba says Western Digital has no such rights. Japanese government is also reported to be opposing any chance of involvement of Chinese buyer. Its see that risk in Taiwan based Foxconn bid.
Toshiba is selling memory biz to save itself from the losses from Toshiba owned Westinghouse Electric which has filed for bankruptcy protection in March.
All this happening when the semiconductor market expected to see double digit growth and memory to lead with highest growth in year 2017, as per most of the semiconductor market forescasts. While Toshiba is making news such as this, its competitor the number one flash memory vendor Samsung Electronics has started volume production of 64-layer, 256Gb V-NAND flash memory for use with an expanding line-up of storage solutions for server, PC and mobile applications.