Western Digital Corp. (WDC) - Get Report has resubmitted a bid for Toshiba Corp.'s (TOSYY) flashing memory unit, the company said Tuesday, as the battle between the two companies rages on for a division that could be worth as much as $20 billion.
"On June 26, Western Digital resubmitted a bid with KKR where Western Digital will provide debt financing to facilitate a sale by Toshiba Corporation of its interests in the NAND Flash Memory joint ventures," Western Digital said in a brief statement. "Western Digital continues to believe it is the best partner to advance Toshiba's legacy of technology innovation in Japan."
Western Digital shares fell 2.06% to $90.75 in after hours trading Monday even as the group said profit for its fiscal fourth quarter will hit $2.85 per share, well ahead of the street consensus of $2.65. Toshiba shares closed 1.74% down in Tokyo at ¥293.
Western Digital threw further doubt on the sale of Toshiba's much-needed sale of its chip unit Monday when it said it objected to any deal that involved rival chipmaker SK Hynix Inc. of South Korea.
Western Digital's June 25 letter said SK Hynix's participation in the consortium purchasing Toshiba's interests in their joint ventures "increases the likelihood of technology leakage and harm to the JVs going forward."
Toshiba last week chose a group led by Bain Capital Private Equity LP, but also supported by government-backed investment funds that has offered ¥2 trillion ($18 billion) for the world's second-largest producer of NAND flash memory chips.
The group includes SK Hynix, the Innovation Network of Japan and the Development Bank of Japan and appears to have won the bidding contest despite failing to meet the ¥2.2 trillion price proposed by a paring of U.S. chipmaker Broadcom Inc. (AVGO) and Silver Lake Private Equity Partners.
Toshiba CEO Satoshi Tsunakawa told a news conference on Friday that SK Hynix would not be holding any equity and would not be involved in management.
Toshiba's much-needed sale could be slowed -- or possibly cancelled altogether -- as a result of legal action from Western Digital, a joint partner of Tosbhia's that has consistently said the auction process violates prior agreements between the two companies. Western Digital's SanDisk unit owns a 49% stake in Toshiba's main chip plant in Yokkaichi.
"Toshiba Corporation continues to ignore both SanDisk's consent rights and the dual-track legal process currently underway," WDC said in a statement late Tuesday in San Jose, Ca. "The language of the relevant agreements is clear: Toshiba Corporation has no right to transfer its JV interests to a third party without SanDisk's consent. SanDisk has not given its consent to any transaction, and will continue to protect its JV interests and preserve its rights through both its request for injunctive relief and the arbitration process."
Tsunakawa also said he was open to talks with Western Digital over the sale.
San Jose, Calif.-based Western Digital said Monday it now expects revenue of $4.8 billion, gross profit margin equivalent to 41% of sales, and earnings per share of $2.85.
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