Toshiba eyes cancelling chip unit sale if no China approval by May

The Mainichi newspaper said on Sunday that Japan’s Toshiba Corp has decided it will cancel the planned $18.6 billion sale of its memory chip unit if it does not get approval from China’s anti-monopoly regulator by May.

A consortium led by U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital last year won a highly contentious and long battle for the unit, which Toshiba put up for sale after billions of dollars in cost overruns at its Westinghouse nuclear unit plunged it into crisis.

But as Toshiba was still waiting for approval from China’s antitrust authorities, it was unable to complete the sale by the agreed deadline of March 31.

The Mainichi newspaper reported that Toshiba raised $5.4 billion from a share issue to foreign investors late last year and it had now decided it did not need to go through with the sale. It did not cite any source.

The newspaper reported that Toshiba has come to a decision that there is little necessity for the sale as it is no longer in insolvency, adding that Toshiba would consider listing the unit if the sale did not go ahead.

A Toshiba spokesman said the company was still aiming to complete the sale as soon as possible.

Toshiba Chief Executive Nobuaki Kurumatani, in early April, said his company would not use the option of cancelling the sale unless there was any “major material change” in circumstances. /

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