Toshiba Corp is attempting to kick start a bidding war as it seeks to offload its chip processor business. The Japanese company reportedly has interest from Western Digital, Foxconn, and another “preferred” bidder.
While the names of interested parties are down to sources close to the matter, Toshiba has confirmed it is in discussions, but declined to say with which companies. The company has previously tried to sell its $18 billion valued chip business, but failed to find a buyer.
Toshiba says it has a preferred bidder, but talks with that suitor did not end in agreement before a self-imposed June 28 deadline. The preferred bidder is said to be a group led by state-backed Network Corp of Japan (INCJ) and the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ), and equity firm Bain Capital.
Western Digital did not comment on its reported interest. Equally, Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn has also not offered any details.
With the talks with the preferred consortium breaking down, Toshiba confirmed to creditors that it is in talks with other bidders.
“Toshiba had no option but to say it's in talks with other suitors because the preferred consortium is falling through,” a source close to the matter added.
The chip division is among Toshiba's ace cards in terms of drumming up interest. It is still a successful part of the company and can bring in significant money to help balance its books. The company plans to offload the business by the end of the fiscal year next March.
If the company cannot achieve the sale, its shares will be delisted from Tokyo's stock market. Toshiba is still in a rebuilding phase after it lost billions of dollars from an accounting scandal at its bankrupt U.S. nuclear unit.
While Western Digital acquired Toshiba's SanDisk memory card business last year, the relationship between the companies is said to be strained. 140-year old Toshiba is said to be reluctant to do business with the company again.