Bain Capital has brought in Apple Inc., Dell Inc. and other technology heavyweights into a consortium seeking to buy Toshiba Corp.’s prized semiconductor unit, the U.S. investment fund said Friday.
The move, aimed at bolstering the group’s hand in its bidding war with Toshiba’s business partner Western Digital Corp., includes the addition of memory product maker Kingston Technology Corp. and data storage company Seagate Technology.
Toshiba said this week it had agreed to step up talks with the consortium, which includes South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc. It is reportedly offering ¥2.4 trillion ($22 billion) for Toshiba Memory Corp., the world’s No. 2 manufacturer of NAND memory chips.
In a statement, Bain said the companies were prepared to “provide capital in a sign of industry-wide support for an independent Toshiba.”
The struggling Japanese conglomerate is seeking to sell the unit to raise funds to prevent a second year of negative net worth, which would cause it to be delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
But negotiations have been hampered by lawsuits filed by Western Digital claiming that Toshiba is violating the terms of their joint venture contract by seeking a buyer without its consent.
Bain on Friday criticized the legal action, saying “Western Digital’s position regarding their contractual rights is over-reaching and an attempt to frustrate the legitimate efforts of Toshiba to preserve an independent Japanese Toshiba Memory company.”
It added, “The newly capitalized company would continue to honor all the contractual terms of the Western Digital joint venture.”