Western Digital Corp plans to raise its offer for Toshiba Corp's prized semiconductor unit to 2 trillion yen ($18 billion) or more, a person familiar with the matter said, marking a last-ditch effort to clinch a deal that both companies consider vital.
The U.S. chipmaker's new offer, to be presented by Thursday when the struggling Japanese conglomerate is to decide a preferred bidder for its Toshiba Memory Co unit, will be in the form of a debt purchase, to avoid antitrust concerns over the proposed purchase of the world's second-largest producer of NAND memory chips, the person told Reuters on Saturday.
A spokesman for Western Digital had no comment. Toshiba could not immediately be reached for comment. Toshiba had set a 2 trillion yen threshold for the sale. It is rushing to find a buyer to cover billions of dollars in cost overruns at its now-bankrupt U.S. nuclear business Westinghouse Electric Corp.
Western Digital has been bidding in a consortium led by a Japanese government-backed fund, but Toshiba on Friday expressed dissatisfaction with that bid. Toshiba has been favoring a rival bid from U.S. chipmaker Broadcom Ltd, which has partnered with U.S. private equity firm Silver Lake to offer 2.2 trillion yen, people familiar with the matter have told Reuters.