Capping months of tangled negotiations, Toshiba has signed an agreement to sell its memory chip unit to a group of investors including Bain Capital and SK Hynix for 2 trillion yen (about $17.8 billion), roughly a week after the tech conglomerate's board of directors approved the move. SK Hynix will provide 395 billion yen to fund the deal, while Bain Capital will contribute 212 billion yen. Reports emerged earlier in the week that Western Digital, Toshiba's jilted joint-venture partner, would attempt to block the sale.
Putting pen to paper is just the latest development in a long-running sale process that's looped in several of private equity and tech's biggest names, including KKR and Apple. And the intrigue continues. A news conference regarding the transaction scheduled for Thursday in Tokyo was reportedly canceled over disagreements between the acquirers on whether to brief media.
Toshiba's auction of the NAND flash memory unit is driven by a need to offset losses from the company's bankrupt Westinghouse Electric subsidiary—which, in separate talks, is also up for sale.
Blackstone and Apollo Global Management have launched a joint bid to acquire the business in a deal that could value Westinghouse at close to $4 billion, per Reuters, although the process is said to be in its early stages. Other private equity firms may also be involved in the auction, including Cerberus Capital Management. Westinghouse went bankrupt earlier this year after generating massive cost overruns while constructing nuclear power plants in Georgia and South Carolina.