Apple threatens to stop buying Western Digital parts if it continues with Toshiba deal

Apple threatens to stop buying Western Digital parts if it continues with Toshiba deal
Back on the last day of August, we told you that Apple was part of a group seeking to buy Toshiba's memory chip business. But it appears that a rival consortium, led by Western Digital, could be signing a deal with Toshiba as soon as Wednesday. That group is offering $17-18 billion USD. Apple, though, is concerned that a Western Digital purchase of Toshiba's chip business would eliminate a rival flash memory chip producer that it could use as a stalking horse in order to get better pricing for the component that Apple uses on the iPhone.

As a result, Apple is threatening to stop buying Western Digital products unless the latter backs away from the purchase of Toshiba's flash memory chip business. Apple also said that if Western Digital drops down to a minority investor in a bid for Toshiba's chip business, the tech titan will help finance the deal by throwing $460 million into the pot.

Toshiba has a number of separate deals to consider. Besides the one including Western Digital and U.S. investment banker KKR, there is a bid from U.S. investment firm Bain and its partners, and one from contract manufacturer Foxconn. The latter two deals include Apple as a partner.

Toshiba needs to have any deal close before its fiscal year ends in March. Otherwise, it faces having to report a negative net worth and that could lead to the de-listing of the company from the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

source: CNBC


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