Toshiba Corp has said it is open to talks with Western Digital Corp in their dispute over the sale of the Japanese conglomerate's prized chip unit - an apparent olive branch after it chose another suitor as preferred bidder. As Sonia Legg reports, the offer comes after crisis-wracked Toshiba suffered further indignities, estimating bigger losses for the past financial year and getting demoted to the second section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange
It's going from bad to worse - Toshiba's now confessed to even bigger estimated losses. Instead of $8.5 billion - its loss for the past financial year will be close to $9 billion. It's also had a request to delay its annual earnings by more than a month accepted. And, if that wasn't enough, it's been demoted to the second tier of the Tokyo Stock Exchange Not much then for the CEO to be positive about. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) CEO OF TOSHIBA, SATOSHI TSUNAKAWA, SAYING: "I think you're talking about our next plan but there isn't anything I can talk about here." Toshiba is being forced to sell its prized chip business. There's plenty of interest but even that is fraught with difficulty. Its U.S. partner Western Digital is taking legal action over the sale, although new olive branches are being offered. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) CEO OF TOSHIBA, SATOSHI TSUNAKAWA, SAYING: "If Western Digital were to reach out to us, we wouldn't mind having a discussion." Toshiba has chosen Bain Capital and Japanese government investors as the preferred bidder for its NAND flash chip maker. It hopes to seal a deal worth $18 billion by next week. But with the new loses comes deeper negative shareholder equity. Toshiba now estimates that as of March-end it will be $5.2 billion dollars.