First they were partners, then they went to court, then they made up and now things have turned sour once more. Just when Western Digital looked like sealing an $18 million deal for Toshiba’s chip unit, the two companies appear to be at loggerheads again.
Earlier in the week, Japanese news outlets were reporting that Toshiba was set to accept Western Digital’s offer. However, the Japanese tech giant has responded quickly to dispel the claims. In fact, Toshiba has issued a statement slamming Western Digital for ‘persistently’ overstating its rights in negotiations with other bidders. In particular, Toshiba is eager to step up talks with a consortium led by Bain Capital and South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix. “Toshiba regrets that Western Digital persistently overstates its limited consent rights in public statements,” the Japanese company said in a statement.
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.