Bain Capital clears final hurdle in Toshiba chip bid - Mobile World Live

Bain Capital clears final hurdle in Toshiba chip bid

18 MAY 2018

Chinese antitrust regulators approved an $18 billion sale of Toshiba’s memory chip unit to a consortium led by private-equity company Bain Capital, the last approval required for the long-delayed sale to move ahead.

Bain Capital said in a statement it had received written approval for the acquisition of Toshiba Memory “and we are looking forward to closing this investment”.

“We are making this important investment because we see the opportunity to further grow Toshiba Memory…This transaction will help ensure a competitive global semiconductor market and protect the supply chain from potential disruption,” it added.

Toshiba said it expects the deal to be completed on 1 June.

Rising tensions
The approval from China comes amid deteriorating relations between China and the US, which in March announced tariffs on up to $60 billion-worth of Chinese imports in retaliation for alleged intellectual property theft and unfair competition practices. China responded by proposing tariffs on $50 billion-worth of US imports.

Earlier this week Chinese regulators restarted a long-delayed review of Qualcomm’s proposed acquisition of NXP Semiconductors after the country’s Ministry of Commerce halted the process in response to the increasing trade tension.

Geoff Blaber, VP of research at CCS Insight, commented in a tweet the clearance of the Toshiba deal could bode well for Qualcomm.

Toshiba agreed in September 2017 to sell its memory unit to the Bain Capital consortium, which includes South Korea-based SK Hynix; US-based Kingston Technology, Dell and Seagate; and Japan-based Hoya. The consortium was named in June as the preferred bidder.

The sale was delayed for almost a year by legal action taken by Western Digital, which partners with the Japanese company in chip production.

Toshiba, the world’s second-largest maker of NAND flash memory chips, originally lined up the memory business sale as part of efforts to deal with a more than $1 billion write-down on its nuclear power business in the US.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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