Toshiba Chip Sale to Bain Group Cleared by China RegulatorBy
The sale of the semiconductor business will take place on June 1 after approval was gained from all necessary regulators, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement Thursday. The deal had already missed earlier deadlines for clearance as the companies waited on Chinese antitrust authorities to make a decision.
“We are making this important investment because we see the opportunity to further grow Toshiba Memory Corporation,” Bain Capital said in a statement. “This transaction will help ensure a competitive global semiconductor market and protect the supply chain from potential disruption.”
Toshiba shares were little changed in Tokyo Friday and have dropped about 4 percent this year.
Toshiba, which invented NAND chip technology, put the business up for sale more than a year ago as it sought to repair a balance sheet hammered by billions of dollars worth of losses from a push into nuclear energy. Bain’s group includes SK Hynix Inc., Apple Inc., Hoya Corp. and Seagate Technology Plc with Toshiba to retain a stake in the business.
China’s approval was needed because the country is the biggest market for chips. Officials at the Ministry of Commerce were concerned Hynix may end up with a significant stake in Toshiba’s chip business, consolidating power among the top players, people familiar with the matter have said.
While the chip unit sale was designed to avoid a delisting from the Tokyo stock exchange, Toshiba’s finances have recovered since it was first proposed. The company boosted its capital with a 410 billion yen nuclear asset sale and 600 billion yen of new stock in December.
— With assistance by Pavel Alpeyev