The bidding war for Toshiba's flash memory division is still raging. As I covered before, Toshiba is basically forced to sell this profitable unit as a series of issues have wrought havoc on the company's balance sheet. The sale of the division is complicated as there are a lot of stakeholders involved, Japan's government for instance wants to keep certain technology out of potentially unfriendly hands and then there are also potential anti-trust and legal issues.
Western Digital for instance has a joint-venture with Toshiba and threatened to take Toshiba to the international arbitration court as WD believes Toshiba's spin-off of its memory business violates the joint-venture agreement.
Now Reuters reports that WD is about to present a new bid to Toshiba. A new offer of 2 trillion yen or more ($18.19 billion) is expected by Thursday.
The U.S. chipmaker is part of a consortium led by a Japanese government-backed fund. The group will present the new offer of 2 trillion yen or more by Thursday, when the struggling Japanese conglomerate is due to choose a preferred bidder for its Toshiba Memory Corp unit, the world's second-largest producer of NAND memory chips, the person told Reuters on Saturday.
Toshiba has been favoring a rival bid from U.S. chipmaker Broadcom Ltd (AVGO.O), which has partnered with U.S. private equity firm Silver Lake to offer 2.2 trillion yen, people familiar with the matter have told Reuters.
Western Digital is currently the third largest manufacturer of NAND flash memory, thanks to its acquisition of SanDisk. If WD succeeds in buying Toshiba's flash memory business, it will become the second biggest player in the NAND industry. With a combined marketshare of around 36 percent, it would be just a little bit smaller than Samsung's NAND arm.