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Apple joins Bain consortium's last-minute bid for Toshiba chip unit

A Japan-U.S.-South Korean consortium has made a last-minute bid
for Toshiba Corp.'s chip unit, offering around 2 trillion yen ($18
billion) in cooperation with Apple Inc., sources close to the matter
said Wednesday.

Apple has newly joined the consortium, led by U.S. investment
fund Bain Capital and also involving South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix
Inc., the state-backed Innovation Network Corp. of Japan and the
Development Bank of Japan.

Under the group's proposal, Toshiba and Bain would own over 40
percent each of Toshiba Memory Corp., the sources said. The INCJ and
the DBJ are expected to hold a controlling stake in the company in
the future.

The last-ditch effort came as Toshiba's board had been expected
Thursday to confirm its plan to sell Toshiba Memory to a group led by
Western Digital Corp. that also includes U.S. investment fund
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. as well as the INCJ and DBJ.

Toshiba and Western Digital are struggling to draw up a contract
due to disagreements over issues including the U.S. company's share
acquisition in the chip unit, the sources said.

In June, Toshiba announced it had picked the Japan-U.S.-South
Korean consortium as the preferred bidder for the unit, but Toshiba
later switched to the Western Digital-led group as negotiations with
the consortium stalled.

Western Digital, Toshiba's business partner, has claimed that a
sale of the unit without its consent would breach their joint venture
contract.

Toshiba President Satoshi Tsunakawa and Western Digital Chief
Executive Officer Steve Milligan held talks earlier in the week and
reached a broad agreement on the sale of Toshiba Memory, the sources
said earlier. (Aug. 30)