Toshiba’s Deadline for Sale of its Chip Unit Passes Without Deal

Toshiba’s self-imposed deadline for sale of its chip making unit passed without an agreement with a buyer, despite interest from several consortiums including one led by Western Digital (WDC), according to media reports.

It was the second time Toshiba has missed such a deadline, The New York Times reported.

Citing unnamed sources “familiar with the process,” Reuters said Toshiba Chief Executive Satoshi Tsunakawa asked the company’s creditors Wednesday: “Please give me an extra week or so.”

Toshiba wanted to strike a deal by the end of the month, as any later would likely make it difficult to gain regulatory approvals by March, Reuters said.

Toshiba’s major reason for the sale is to make up for the steep losses of its nuclear unit Westinghouse, which filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from creditors in April. Without a sale to counterbalance the losses, Toshiba would likely have to book negative net worth for a second year in a row, Reuters said, which could result in it being delisted.

Toshiba’s chip making unit is the world’s second largest manufacturer of NAND chips, which are used to store data in smartphones and other digital devices, behind South Korea’s Samsung Electronics, The New York Times noted, and is seen worth 2 trillion yen, or around $17 billion to $18 billion.

Toshiba’s board met Thursday for what had been billed as a decisive vote to choose a buyer, The New York Times said.

Instead, the company said it was still weighing offers from three groups of investors: Bain Capital, the American investment fund, which has joined with two Japanese government-backed financial firms; Western Digital, the digital storage company based in the U.S.; and Foxconn, the contract manufacturer based in Taiwan that makes phones and other devices on behalf of Apple (AAPL) and other global brand names.

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