Toshiba Approves Sale of Chip Business; Foxconn May be Bidder

Reuters reports that Toshiba Corporation of Japan has received approval from its shareholders to sell its NAND flash memory unit, with the sale expected to raise at least $9 billion to cover its U.S. nuclear unit, Westinghouse, which this week filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The Toshiba shareholder meeting was marked by various angry outbursts from shareholders directed at Toshiba CEO Satoshi Tsunakawa. “Toshiba has become a laughingstock around the world. You have no clue what’s going on,” shouted one shareholder.

Toshiba is expected to record an annual net loss of 1 trillion yen ($9 billion) for this business year for its write-down at Westinghouse.

Potential buyers of Toshiba’s chip business are said to be Western Digital, which operates a chip plant with Toshiba in Japan; Micron Technology; and South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix.

According to Reuters’ sources, the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, and Development Bank of Japan are expected to enter later bidding as part of a consortium.

Another source said that China’s Foxconn may place an offer, but that the Japanese government is likely to block a sale to Foxconn due to its ties with China.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government has guaranteed loans of $8.3 billion loan to help finance some of the construction of four Westinghouse reactors in the United States.

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