SK Hynix Will Reportedly Give Up Its Voting Rights on Toshiba Memory

The message from Shiga came nearly three weeks after Toshiba picked a consortium led by a state-backed Japanese investment fund that consists of Bain Capital, SK Hynix and Japanese-government banks as the preferred bidder in the sale of Toshiba Memory. In the meantime, the judge ordered Toshiba not to complete the sale until a July 28 hearing.

Jiji Press commented that SK Hynix's decision rid an element that made it hard for the Korea-US-Japan alliance from making the final adjustment, making the alliance take one more step towards the sell-off of Toshiba Memory.

A California court has put on hold its decision on an injunction request by Western Digital Corporation (WDC) to block the sale of Toshiba's memory division, giving another headwind to a multinational preferred bidder comprising of South Korea's memory chipmaker SK Hynix and US and Japanese entities. As per a joint venture with Western Digital which helps finance equipment at Toshiba's plants, Western Digital has also invoked separate arbitration proceedings. Overseas media reported that San Francisco Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn delayed a ruling on WDC's request last Friday, while suggesting that Toshiba should work to persuade WDF further by giving a two weeks' advance notice of the sale. Toshiba is reportedly stepping on it with a view to concluding a contract this month based on this.

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The two companies were in court in the United States on Friday for a hearing on Western Digital's request for a preliminary injunction to block the sale. Toshiba said the judge proposed a "finessed" alternative to a preliminary injunction, while Western Digital said the hearing amounted to court protection.

"Our entire goal was to preserve and protect our rights through the binding arbitration process and that's precisely what the court has done today", Western Digital CEO Steve Milligan said in a statement.

The already hazy direction of the sale of Toshiba's memory chip business became more unclear as the Innovation Network Corp. of Japan, a leader of the consortium that was named the preferred bidder in the deal, threatened SK Hynix, one of the consortium members, to give up its voting stake in the Japanese company last Friday. It was possible that the lawsuit filed by Western Digital to stop the sale could have some effect on the timing, he said.

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A report that SK Hynix will give up its voting rights on Toshiba Memory, a semiconductor subsidiary of Toshiba, is accelerating the acquisition of Toshiba Memory.

Shiga noted that a voting stake for SK Hynix was not included in the consortium's framework when INCJ won approval to participate, according to Japan's JiJi Press on Saturday.

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