Western Digital Moves to Court in a Bid to Block Sale of Toshiba Chip Unit

HIGHLIGHTS
WD has sought a court injunction to stop Toshiba’s chip unit sale
The court injunction details that Toshiba needs to take WD’s consent
Toshiba wants to complete the deal as quickly as possible
Western Digital Corp has sought a court injunction to prevent Toshiba Corp from selling its chip business without the US firm’s consent – a move that threatens to throw the fiercely contested auction into disarray.

The escalation in the spat between Western Digital, which jointly operates Toshiba’s main chip plant, and its business partner follows tense last-minute jockeying by suitors for the world’s second-biggest producer of NAND semiconductors.

According to a person familiar with the matter, the California-based firm has been left out of a new Japan government-led group being formed to bid for the unit.

Toshiba’s “attempts to circumvent our contractual rights have left us with no choice but to take this action,” Western Digital’s Chief Executive Steve Milligan said in a statement.

ALSO SEEJapan Urges Toshiba, Western Digital to Get Along as Chip Spat Flares

“Left unchecked, Toshiba would pursue a course that clearly violates these rights,” he added.

Western Digital has filed its suit with the Superior Court of California, seeking an injunction until its arbitration case against Toshiba is heard. It is concerned about how Toshiba, the Japanese government and other stakeholders are handling the auction process, a second source said.

The second source added it had submitted a revised bid on Wednesday that satisfies Toshiba’s requests on deal certainty and price but did not receive a favourable response. Toshiba has demanded at least JPY 2 trillion ($18 billion) for the unit.

Sources declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the negotiations concerning the auction.

Toshiba said in a statement that it was proceeding with selecting a preferred bidder for its memory unit by the second half of June as planned and hoped to reach a definitive agreement on a sale by June 28.

Western Digital Moves to Court in a Bid to Block Sale of Toshiba Chip Unit

Toshiba wants to complete the deal as quickly as possible to help cover billions of dollars in cost overruns at its now-bankrupt Westinghouse nuclear unit and to dig itself out negative shareholders’ equity that could lead to a delisting.

Satoru Oyama, senior principal analyst at research firm IHS, said Western Digital’s argument made sense from a common-sense point of view and that developments were moving towards a worst-case scenario for the Japanese company.

“Toshiba has more to lose in the dispute because it is running out of time,” he said. “Toshiba and Western Digital eventually have to talk. They cannot afford to keep fighting when Samsung is taking advantage of the NAND market boom and investing massively.”

A third source familiar with the matter said Western Digital expects to get a ruling on its injunction request by mid-July and that arbitration cases generally take 16-24 months to resolve.

A state-backed fund, the Innovation Network Corp of Japan (INCJ), has been at the centre of trade ministry efforts to forge a successful bid that will keep the highly prized unit under domestic control. But the nature of its partnerships appears to be going through drastic changes compared to just last week.

It has been in talks with Bain Capital and the group now includes South Korea’s SK Hynix Inc, sources have said.

INCJ was, however, also part of a proposed bid tabled by Western Digital last week that also included US private equity firm KKR & Co LP, other sources familiar with the matter have said.

Other bidders include Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics maker. Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, is leading a consortium that includes Apple Inc computing giant Dell Inc and Kingston Technology Co.

The highest known bid so far is one from US chipmaker Broadcom and its partner, US private equity firm Silver Lake. They have offered JPY 2.2 trillion, sources have said.

Flipkart Fashion Days Sale: Top 5 offers and big discounts on clothes, bags, footwear, makeup that you cannot afford to miss

The first-of-its-kind nine day fashion sale by online shopping website Flipkart, ‘Fashion Days Sale’ begins today and there is something for all kinds of fashion addicts. The end-of-season sale that will go on till June 18, has some pretty steep discounts on some of the biggest brands of fashion clothing and accessories. Products like jeans, t-shirts, tops, dresses, sports wear for both men and women, sunglasses, watches and even , bags, sports accessories and footwear from brands like Addidas and others, are on sale at Flipkart.

Here are some of the deals that you just can’t afford to miss today:

1. Upto 60 per cent discount on makeup and beauty products from Maybelline, Lakme and other top brands. Products like foundation, eye liner, mascara, lipsticks, eye shades, nail polishes and even makeup brushes are available at huge discounts.

Credits: Twitter @Flipkart

2. Upto 70 per cent off on travel and trolley bags, suitcases, backpacks and handbags from Giordano.

3. Skmei, Sanda, S Shock and other sports watches are available for under Rs 999, starting from as low as Rs 470. The sale also features fashion watches from Timex and Fastrack at discounts that go up to as much as 80 per cent.

4. Running, hiking, trekking and other heavy duty and normal sports shoes from Wildcraft, Nike, Fila, Adidas, Reebok, are also available on discounts that go up to 50 per cent.

5. Casual tops for women start from Rs 300, with discounts of as much as 70 per cent. There is a discount of upto 50 per cent on women’s tunics as well.

There are additional discounts for payments application Phone Pe and also HDFC customers who use the shopping card to make purchases. The sale is expected to rake in big monies for the website that is looking to clear its stocks with this end-of-season sale. The website has done something different this time, by curating wardrobes according to preferences of shoppers with sections like Diva, Workaholic, Sports Guru, etc.