According to a breaking report out of Japan early this morning, Toshiba will sell its semiconductor subsidiary to Western Digital for around $18 billion (¥2 trillion). The purchase by the American company will enable it to remain highly competitive in the NAND flash storage market against giants like Intel and Samsung. The report states that the deal is to be finally decided upon by Toshiba during its next board of directors meeting.
Furthermore, the sale by Toshiba will also form the "New Japan-American Alliance" which will be centered on Western Digital, and funded by common and preferred stocks purchased by various Japanese entities such as the Japan Development Bank, Toshiba, and others. Western Digital will not be investing during this initial funding phase but will acquire about 15% of the voting rights later.
Toshiba aims to complete the deal before March 2018, so as to avoid excessive debts which could lead to the delisting of the Japanese company from the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The company has already been demoted from the first to the second section of the stock exchange earlier this year and plans to use the sale of its memory section to rebuild the organization.
It is worth noting that although Toshiba conditioned the sale of its memory business to Western Digital as an independent entity, Western Digital fully plans to raise its voting rights in the alliance. Moreover, both companies already have a partnership in the form of a joint-venture which begun when Western Digital purchased SanDisk and inherited its partnership with Toshiba.
The news, should it turn out to be accurate, would seemingly end speculation over the sale fuelled by rampant and contradictory reports. At the time of writing, Toshiba and Western Digital have yet to issue a press release or statement confirming the sale.