Toshiba Considers Spinning Off NAND Business



/ 1 year ago

toshiba-3d-nand-fab

The past year has been rough for Japanese conglomerate Toshiba. Coming off one of the biggest accounting scandals ever, the company is set as much as a $4 billion loss over the coming while. In an effort to raise some cash to cover the write down, Toshiba is reportedly planning to spin off their NAND production business.  The goal is to then sell off a 20% stake to an outside investor for about $2.7 billion and retain control with an 80% stake.

So far, Toshiba has confirmed that they are exploring this possibility. However, there is now word yet on who the potential partners will be. One obvious candidate is Western Digital, Toshiba’s NAND partner. Through a joint venture, the two firms own all of their NAND production and manufacturing. If Western Digital buys a bigger stake in the business, it would mean more NAND for them to either use or sell. The question is if Western Digital needs that extra NAND or not.

The other possibility is an outside investor who either wants those NAND dies themselves or will resell them to other third parties to use in their products. One possibility in my mind is Seagate which wants to get into the SSD market but doesn’t have their own NAND fabs. That would make for an interesting relationship as it would mean that the only HDD manufacturers left would be working together on SSDs. On the other hand, the Toshiba and Western Digital/SanDisk joint venture has shown that cooperation does work.

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