An agreement worth over $18 billion for Toshiba was announced last week, with the winning bidder a consortium led by Bain Capital and including Apple and Dell.
However Tosh has been telling its banks that Apple is stalling and apparently one of the failed bidders, KKR, is now trying to tempt Apple to switch sides. Apple had previously opposed KKR’s bid because its consortium included Western Digital, which is a joint investor in TSMC’s flash memory facility.
Apple, which is the biggest consumer of the memory chips, feared that Western Digital’s involvement would consolidate the market too much and lead to less competitive pricing, Bloomberg said.
Western Digital has since pulled out of the consortium and is seeking to block Bain Capital’s bid.
If KKR is able to persuade Apple to switch sides at the last minute, it could upset a deal that had looked like it would end months of twists and turns in finding a buyer for Toshiba’s family jewels.
Tosh needs cash to shore up a balance sheet destroyed by a failed foray into the nuclear power equipment industry and is facing a deadline in March to complete a deal or be delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange.