Japan's Toshiba Corp is locked in last minute discussions over ''key issues'' with the would-be buyers of its $18 billion memory chip business led by U.S. private equity firm Bain, potentially delaying a formal agreement on the sale. Jagdip Cheema reports
Toshiba is locked in last minute discussions to finalize the $18 billion sale of its semiconductor business. A consortium led by Bain Capital had been expected to seal the deal on Thursday. However sources now say the deal may be delayed, until some key issues are resolved. And that's not the only obstacle for the Japanese electronics giant, with its memory chip partner Western Digital taking fresh legal action against the deal late on Wednesday. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LONDON CAPITAL GROUP SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "Now filing legal proceedings against the company because of its partnership in the US it really should have been consulted more on the deal. They want to protect their legal interests in the U.S. but Western Digital That is they also want to become front runner again in this deal." Toshiba needs funds to cover multibillion dollar losses at its now bankrupt U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse. And if no deal is confirmed soon, the firm could be delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LONDON CAPITAL GROUP SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "I think there's going to be some legal wranglings which are going to keep shareholders on edge even though the deal probably will eventually get done by one of those two companies. It still doesn't bode well for the long term growth of because that company contributed so much to its revenue." Toshiba shares fell 2 percent on Thursday.