But Western Digital has emerged as a possible sticking point. According to Reuters, the CEO of the California-based company, Stephen Milligan, sent a letter to the Toshiba board describing its shopping of the NAND unit as "a very serious breach" and calling for exclusive negotiations for the chip business, a move driven by a 17-year-old joint venture between the companies in which Western Digital has invested some $13 billion.
Yet Toshiba’s financial woes may run too deep for it to entertain any but the most lucrative offer. Earlier this week, the company revealed the extent of the damage done to its bottom line by bankrupt nuclear power subsidiary Westinghouse with the release of its fiscal 3Q results—without consent from its auditor, PwC Aarata, which could imperil Toshiba's status on the Tokyo Stock Exchange—revealing a $4.6 billion loss, including a $6.9 billion hit related to the collapse of Westinghouse. These financial woes have forced Toshiba to line up several other divestitures across different business lines since the start of the year.