Toshiba to Sell Memory Chip Unit to Group Including SK Hynix

The Bain consortium includes backing from Japanese and overseas companies including Toshiba. Apple Dell SK Hynix and

Toshiba said to have selected Bain-SK Hynix group to buy its memory business

Troubled Japanese conglomerate Toshiba has selected a group comprising Bain Capital and South Korea chipmaker SK Hynix to buy its prized memory business, according to Reuters, citing sources.

Korean chipmaker SK hynix remained silent on Sept 20 over reports that Japan-based Toshiba has made a decision to pick a Japan-US-Korean consortium as preferred bidder to buy its memory chip business unit.

The sale of it's memory chip unit is crucial for Toshiba in order to remain listed on the Toyko Stock Exchange and also gain further funds to cover losses from its nuclear power station project in the US. This move keeps a key business out of the hands of foreign tech rivals. It noted that Japanese investors still will control a majority stake. Turning its back on a proposed deal led by Western Digital, Toshiba is set to make around $22 billion from the sale. It has opposed the sale of Toshiba's chip business from the very beginning, arguing that the business segment includes joint venture agreements that can not be sold off without Western Digital's approval.

The chipmaker said it had been negotiating with three potential groups to sell its memory business.

The consortium includes SK Hynix, the public-private Innovation Network Corp. of Japan and the state-backed Development Bank of Japan. Another included Western Digital and a third involved iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry.

In a statement, Toshiba said the sale of Toshiba Memory would boost its finances by 740bn yen (£5bn) after taxes.

While the talk between Toshiba and Western Digital reached an impasse Toshiba announced last week that it would once again focus on negotiations with the Bain-led consortium.

Toshiba shares jumped 2.86 percent to 324 yen, while SK Hynix shares were up 0.63 percent. Toshiba is the world's number 2 supplier of flash memory and remains a significant force in today's electronics market. This means that memory has become the main profit driver for Toshiba.

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