Toshiba Confirms Sale Of NAND Production Arm
After last week’s speculation that Toshiba was deciding whether to sell of its NAND production business, the Japanese corporation today confirmed they are indeed going through with the sale. Besides selling off just under 20 percent of its memory-chip production, Toshiba will also likely try to find a buyer for their U.S. nuclear interests in a bid to raise around $4 billion in capital.
Toshiba needs this rather large amount of money after a run of seriously bad luck with investments as well as an accounting scandal in their U.S. nuclear holdings. In fact, the situation is so serious that Toshiba needs to have done so by March 31 to prevent a massive loss to shareholders. This is not the best set of circumstances to seek a seller in, though since it concerns a minority stake the company should be safe for the foreseeable future.
Who the seller is, is as yet uncertain: there are several possible suitors available, though the most likely is Western Digital as they already run a Japanese NAND factory with Toshiba. They are also the best fit, since they will be able to capitalize directly on the manufacture and sale of NAND by using it in their own products, much as they are doing now, while also being able to sell directly to Toshiba. This would prevent operations needing to shut down on Toshiba’s end and keep production rolling in an effort to stop the leak of money.
In the unlikely event that Western Digital does not decide to purchase Toshiba’s NAND stake, another buyer can surely be found in time. There is a chance that Foxconn may be interested as the company is looking toward a future where it predicts storage, chips and camera will more and more be integrated, a situation for which NAND flash memory is perfectly suited.
Fergus has been tinkering with computers since he was a kid and likes to put a stop to parties by listing the specs of all the digital devices in the room. It's best not to let him near your computer since he'll take it apart and may not put it back together again before he leaves.