Toshiba said in a statement that it had “exercised its best efforts to reach a mutually satisfactory definitive agreement” but that negotiations had “not reached the point” at which the board was able to make a decision.
Among the would-be buyers, the role of presumptive favorite has changed hands more than once.
In June, Toshiba said that it was entering exclusive talks with the Bain group, which also included a Japanese government-controlled investment fund, the Innovation Network Corporation; the Development Bank of Japan, a state-owned bank; and SK Hynix, the South Korean technology company.
Toshiba said its decision was based on price and on promises by the consortium to keep employees and sensitive technology in Japan.
But the choice provoked a furious response from Western Digital. The American company shares ownership with Toshiba of a NAND production operation in Japan, and Western Digital argued that Toshiba could not sell its chip business to an outside party without its approval.
Facing legal pressure from Western Digital, Toshiba backed out of a commitment in late June to conclude a deal with Bain and its partners. It then resumed talks with Western Digital and its financial backer, the American investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and other bidders.
Western Digital’s chief executive, Stephen D. Milligan, arrived in Tokyo this week in what was widely seen as a sign that his company was close to winning Toshiba’s approval for its offer. But the Bain group has not given up.
Source: New York Times – Technology