Apple backs Bain Capital in Toshiba chip unit acquisition

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Industrial Automation Toshiba Approves Sale to Bain Capital Taking Final Steps Before Deal James Morra 1 | Sep 21 2017

The remaining 266 billion yen (US$2.35 billion) will be invested in a fund to be established by Bain Capital with SK Hynix as an LP (limited partner).

In a statement, SK hynix, a member of the consortium, said its participation in the acquision deal can potentially lay the foundation for it to get ahead in the NAND flash business.

Toshiba and Bain Capital are expected to reach a final agreement later this month for the acquisition of the Japanese conglomerate's chip unit.

Apple's backing is valuable as it is one of the world's biggest single buyers of NAND flash storage.

Last week, Toshiba said it had chosen a consortium led by US investment fund Bain Capital over the Western Digital group following a prolonged sale process that went through many twists and turns until the very last minute. The inclusion of SK Hynix and Seagate, both competitors to WDC, are obviously displeasing to the company.

Under the circumstances, however, according to Japanese media including the Nihon Keizai Shimbun on September 27, Western Digital (WD) announced on September 26 (local time) that it will file a provisional injunction requesting the International Arbitration Court of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to suspend the sale of Toshiba memory.

Western Digital previously sought an injunction from a California state court to block any sale of the chip unit without its consent.

But as the legal process is likely to take more than two years, Western Digital has chose to seek an interim injunction that would temporarily halt the sale until a court decision is made. It is noted that even if the deal gets done right away, regulatory reviews often take six months which doesn't leave a whole lot of breathing space before that March window slams shut. WD expects the results of its application for an injunction to come out within this year at the earliest.

However, it preferred the Bain-led bid for the Toshiba unit on competition grounds, fearing that if Toshiba Memory Corporation were to go wholly or partly to WD it would be able to dominate the market.

Earlier, on September 20, Toshiba made a decision to sell off its memory business to the Korea-US-Japan Alliance led by US Bain Capital.

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