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Toshiba slams Western Digital for 'overstating rights' as things turn sour

14 September 2017

In response, Western Digital, a provider of storage technologies, said it is disappointed over Toshiba's plans to transfer its interests in its NAND flash-memory joint ventures operated with Western Digital's SanDisk subsidiaries.

Toshiba (Tokyo) said its board signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Bain-led group Wednesday (Sept. 13), but that the MOU does not preclude continued negotiations with other groups, including the consortium led by Western Digital and another led by Foxconn. But it added that the memorandum was not legally binding and did not prevent it from negotiating with other parties.

As Toshiba began stepping up negotiations with the Western Digital-led group in mid-August, expectations increased among creditors and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry that it would finally conclude a deal to sell Toshiba Memory. "Toshiba regrets that Western Digital persistently overstates its limited consent rights in public statements", the Japanese company said in a statement. Among them is Western Digital, the United States computer data storage company and Toshiba's partner in chip manufacturing, which expressed its discontent with the news. But Western Digital has begun legal action, opposing the sale to anyone else.

According to the latest proposal by the Bain-led consortium, the INCJ and DBJ will not provide funds following the acquisition of Toshiba Memory until the lawsuit is settled. Bloomberg reports that Apple's contribution could help swing the deal in Bain's favour.

The memory chip plant is owned jointly by Toshiba and Western Digital, but managed by Toshiba.

Toshiba has insisted that Western Digital has overstated its rights over Toshiba Memory Corporation, which it acquired when it bought SanDisk for $19bn past year.

At present, Toshiba is under pressure to close a deal in order to improve its finances.

Toshiba's massive red ink began with the reactors it has been building in the USA, which are still unfinished, partly because of beefed up safety regulations following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Toshiba said on Wednesday that it will "work to expedite the conclusion of a stock purchase agreement by the end of September".

Toshiba slams Western Digital for 'overstating rights' as things turn sour