The CEO of Western Digital Corp is set to meet a number of prominent officials from the Japanese government in the latest attempt to resolve the long-running feud with Toshiba Corp over the sale of its lucrative chip business. CEO of Western Digital, Steve Milligan confirmed that he will meet Japanese representatives that have been recently appointed to senior positions in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
Toshiba’s finances were dented following the bankruptcy of its US nuclear business Westinghouse, and in an effort to recover some of its losses, it has subsequently attempted to sells its lucrative flash memory chip business. However, the sale of its flash memory chip business has thus far been prevented due to its engagement in a lengthy legal battle with Western Digital Corp.
Last month, Toshiba announced its preferred bidder was a consortium which consisted of Bain Capital, South Korean chip maker SK Hynix and Japanese-government backed funds. Western Digital have argued that any sale of the chip business require its consent and have sought an injunction order to block any transaction. Western Digital, have made it clear to Toshiba that it wants to buy the memory chip business from the Japanese conglomerate.
METI has been trying to orchestrate the sale as part of its plan to keep Toshiba’s semiconductor technology in domestic hands. A US court judge ruled opted to postpone a decision on Western Digital’s injunction request, and instead proposed that Toshiba give the US firm at least a fortnight’s notice before finalizing any sale of its chip business.
It remains unclear if Milligan will meet any of Toshiba’s senior executives while he visits Japan, and when contacted about his talks with government officials, a spokeswoman for Western Digital Corp declined to comment on the current situation.