Western Digital CEO in Japan to finalize Toshiba chip deal: source

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TOKYO (Reuters) – Western Digital Corp’s (WDC.O) chief executive is in Tokyo to finalize an agreement to buy Toshiba Corp’s (6502.T) memory chip business, ending months of dispute over the auction, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday.

Toshiba is scrambling to sell its flash memory unit to cover losses from its bankrupt U.S. nuclear business Westinghouse.

A group including Western Digital, U.S. private equity firm KKR & Co (KKR.N) and Japanese government investors are offering around 1.9 trillion yen ($17.3 billion) for the unit, separate sources previously told Reuters. The U.S. firm is offering 150 billion yen through convertible bonds, they said.

The group and Toshiba aim to announce a deal by Aug. 31 when Toshiba’s board meets, other people said on Monday.

Both Western Digital and Toshiba declined to comment. A KKR representative could not be immediately reached.

Some senior Toshiba executives had initially balked at Western Digital’s offer, but sources said on Friday that the U.S. firm took a conciliatory tack and decided not to seek a management role in the new business and limit its stake to no more than one-third even when it converts the bonds to equity.

Toshiba and Western Digital are the world’s second and third largest producer of NAND chips.

Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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