Court docs: WD has bid to buy Toshiba's memory business six times

Rejects SK Hynix partnership

Court documents filed by WD in response to Toshiba claims show that it has made six bids to acquire Toshiba Memory Corporation (TMC), the spun-out Toshiba NAND memory business.

Toshiba is selling this business in order to save the company from possible closure following catastrophic losses in its US-based Westinghouse Electric nuclear power station-building business (more background here).

The WD Corp documents have been seen by Stifel analyst and MD Aaron Rakers, and the most recent WD bids were on March 22, followed by revised bids on June 9, June 14 and June 27. The most recent one involved WD with private equity house KKR, and two Japanese state-backed funds, INCJ and DBK.

It was, WD says, in line with press reports of competing bids in terms of value, meaning $2bn or more.

In other words, it is not trying to buy TMC on the cheap.

Western Digital rejected any potential partnership with SK Hynix in a potential bid consortium. SK Hynix settled an IP breach case with SanDisk and Toshiba in 2014, paying more than $278m to Tosh and also making an undisclosed payment to SanDisk. SK Hynix's technology is also thought by WD to be one or two years behind that of the WD Corp/Toshiba joint venture, and it sees no reason to help a competitor catch up.

Toshiba secured a $6bn loan late last week, using TMC shares deposited with its banks as collateral. In WDC's view, this transfer of shares is not in accordance with the terms of the joint venture between WDC and Toshiba – more grist for WDC's lawyers' legal mill. ®

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