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Apple, Dell, Kingston, Seagate To Sell Shares In Toshiba Memory: Report

The sale, totaling about $4.5 billion, would close last year's move by the four companies to ensure a joint venture between Toshiba Memory and Western Digital did not fall into the hands of Western Digital and further consolidate the flash storage industry.

Four top U.S. flash storage consumers and vendors are reportedly planning to sell their stakes in flash component developer Toshiba Memory a year after they invested in the company to stave off potential consolidation in the flash memory industry.

The Wall Street Journal on Monday reported that Apple, Dell Technologies, Kingston Technology, and Seagate Technology have agreed to sell their stakes in Japan-based Toshiba Memory Holdings Corp for a total of about $4.5 billion as part of an $11.8-billion financing package that Japanese banks are offering to the company.

Toshiba Corp., parent company of Toshiba Memory Corp., in September of 2017 agreed to the sale of all shares of Toshiba Memory to a special-purpose acquisition company formed and controlled by Bain Capital Private Equity.

[Related: 22 Flash Storage Products Heating Up The Data Center Market]

Bain, along with Korea-based SK Hynix, Japan-based optical maker Hoya Corp., Toshiba Corp., and the four U.S.-based companies, acquired Toshiba Memory Corp. for about $2 trillion Japanese yen. Of that, the four U.S. companies had a total share of almost 21 percent of the company.

Toshiba Memory and Western Digital at the time were engaged in a joint venture to develop and manufacture flash storage memory components. The two have continued that relationship, and on Monday formed a new joint venture to invest in a new 3D flash memory manufacturing facility.

The Bain-led consortium was formed in 2017 after concerns were raised about the possible acquisition of the joint venture by Western Digital which would have been a big consolidation move for the flash memory industry.

Toshiba Memory, in response to a CRN request for more information, said via email, "In regards to external or internal inquiries, we do NOT comment about details (timing etc.) of IPO or refinance. We can only disclose that we are preparing for IPO."

A Seagate spokesperson told CRN via email that the information about the deal is "speculative" and that the company declines to comment.

Kingston and Dell Technologies declined to comment.

Western Digital and Apple did not respond to a CRN request for more information by press time.

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