September 20, 2017 / 12:26 PM / a month ago

Toshiba says seals $18 billion deal to sell chip unit to Bain Capital group

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s Toshiba Corp said on Wednesday it has agreed to sell its prized semiconductor business to a group led by U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital LP, a key step in keeping the struggling Japanese conglomerate listed on the Tokyo exchange.

The logo of Toshiba Corp is seen behind cherry blossoms at the company's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan April 11, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Toshiba said in a nighttime announcement through the exchange its board decided to sign a contract for the deal worth about 2 trillion yen ($18 billion), the latest and perhaps final twist in a deal that only hours earlier had seen the company leading toward an agreement with its U.S. joint venture partner Western Digital Corp.

The decision to sell the world’s No. 2 producer of NAND memory chips, first reported by Reuters on Wednesday, was made at a board meeting earlier in the day.

Toshiba said the agreement assumed the deal would weather legal challenges raised by Western Digital. A Western Digital spokeswoman said the company did not have an immediate comment.

(The story corrects to show the board decided to sign a contract, not that it had been signed)

Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by William Mallard

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