Is an end finally in sight for the months-long Toshiba drama? Losses in the conglomerate's nuclear division prompted Toshiba to sell its profitable NAND flash memory chip units to plug the deep holes in the company's balance sheet. Several parties circled around Toshiba and Western Digital even filed a lawsuit, claiming the spin-off and sale of the Toshiba semiconductor unit violates the joint venture agreement it has with the company.
Now a rumor is going around that Toshiba has agreed to sell the flash unit to a Western Digital-led consortium for 2 trillion yen (approx. $18.23 billion).
Besides Western Digital, the consortium includes private equity firm Bain Capital and the Development Bank of Japan. According to the leak, the deal will center on a "New Japan-America Alliance" and will be funded by common and preferred stocks purchases by various entities. Western Digital will reportedly not put any money on the table during the initial investing round, presumably to prevent anti-trust issues so the deal can clear faster. However, Western Digital does plan to invest later on to secure 15 percent of the voting rights.
The news isn't official yet but Toshiba is expected to make an announcement after tomorrow's board of directors meeting. It's a race around the clock for Toshiba as the company needs a deal that can clear before March 2018 to avoid excessive debt buildup and possible delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange.