Toshiba confident of chip sale despite looming deadline

Toshiba made a statement on Monday that it is still aiming to complete the sale of its memory chip business, despite speculation that it had decided to can the deal if it didn’t get approval from Chinese regulators. 

The announcement came following a report from Bloomberg that claimed the firm was "all but guaranteed to miss a May 1 deadline to sell its memory chips business to a Bain Capital-led group raising the chances it may consider other options that could yield billions of additional dollars for the unit".

The whole deal was supposed to be signed by March 31st, but due to complications with regulators that evidently didn’t happen. Instead, Chinese regulators are conducting a third (and for Toshiba hopefully final) review of the deal which is due to be completed by May 28th. 

Toshiba and Bain are keen to finalise the current agreement, but someone familiar with the matter said that they ‘can’t wait forever’.

Toshiba’s financial woes are largely connected to its failed nuclear unit Westinghouse. Acquired in 2006, an ill-advised purchase in 2015 led to massive scandal and loses for its parent company. Last year Westinghouse filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy and Toshiba was left scrambling to recoup funds.

New Toshiba CEO Nobuaki Kurumatani earlier in April said that he was confident that the deal would be concluded: “We will maintain our stance and wait (for Chinese regulatory approval) unless drastic changes occur.”

Whether this latest development is that ‘drastic change’ remains to be seen. 

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