Toshiba misses memory sale deadline as Apple-backed bid returns

Bain had previously submitted a $19 billion offer with another group that included state-backed Innovation Network Corp. of Japan and Development Bank of Japan. Western Digital says that it will not be forced out.

Toshiba Corp. on Thursday missed a deadline to sign an agreement by the end of August for the sale of its profitable chip unit, saying it is still in talks with three consortiums.

The proposal also calls for Toshiba to be part of the deal, investing 200 billion yen, the source said.

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This would beat the $17 billion proposal offered by the Western Digital-led consortium, which includes U.S. private equity firm KKR.

Despite frayed relations between Western Digital and Toshiba, one source familiar the matter said early this week that their discussions were in final stages, with Steve Milligan, the chief executive of the USA firm, in town to hammer out details.

Selling the profitable chip division is seen as the key to cash-strapped Toshiba's survival as one of Japan's best-known firms struggles to plug multibillion-dollar losses at its USA nuclear power division, Westinghouse Electric.

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By taking part in the bidding, Apple could help ensure a competitive supply chain and lessen its dependence on the chip division of Samsung, a key rival in the smart phone business.

Western Digital, Toshiba's business partner, has claimed that a sale of the unit without its consent would breach their joint venture contract. Toshiba would also keep a share of the business and contribute about 200 billion yen to the deal. -South Korean consortium was the preferred bidder for Toshiba Memory Corp.

Toshiba is the world's number-two supplier of memory chips, behind South Korean titan Samsung. The INCJ and the DBJ are expected to hold a controlling stake in the company in the future. Toshiba had been progressing in talks with Western but Bain Capital is reported to have returned with a bid at the last minute - on Wednesday - which further complicated the issue.

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Toshiba was working under creditor pressure to strike a deal by the end of the month, sources with direct knowledge have said, as any later would make it hard to gain regulatory approvals before its books closed in March.

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