Toshiba board fails to reach verdict on Western Digital bid

Toshiba’s troublesome sale of its memory unit doesn’t look like being resolved anytime soon. The Japanese firm’s board has reached a decision of ‘no verdict’ on Western Digital’s proposal, according to Reuters. Toshiba had hoped to tie up a deal by the end of August, with Western Digital emerging as unlikely frontrunners.

Following a series of legal battles between Toshiba and Western Digital, the US company has even offered to drop out of the consortium it is organising to get the deal done, so long as other conditions are met. Those conditions include no other rival chipmaker being part of the consortium and a stronger position for the U.S. firm in their joint chip venture, they said.

According to reports, Toshiba may still be weighing up other alternatives. Just last week, Toshiba said it had not narrowed the pool of suitors and was also looking at a bid from U.S. private equity firm Bain, which has roped in Apple to bolster its offer, as well as one from Taiwan’s Foxconn. It was not known if those bids were also reviewed by Toshiba’s board on Wednesday.

Failure to clinch a deal soon, could result in Toshiba being delisted in March, with a six month window needed to get its finances in order. All of this comes in an effort to make up the $18 billion it needs pay off huge loans it has accrued. The nature of the sale has seen the Japanese government heavily involved, with emphasis being placed on keeping the firm within the country.

Toshiba’s financial woes are largely connected to its failed nuclear unit Westinghouse. Acquired in 2006, an ill-advised purchase in 2015 has led to massive scandal and loses for its parent company. Last month Westinghouse filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy and Toshiba is attempting to split from the company. Since revealing its financial turmoil a number of investors have shown an interest in Toshiba’s technology businesses. 

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