China gives go ahead for Toshiba to sell $18 billion chip unit

Toshiba Corp is seen outside an electronics retail store in Tokyo

Both Bain and Toshiba announced on Thursday that they were set to finalize the deal next month after antitrust officials in China had cleared the merger that had already been approved in the U.S. and Europe.

China has approved United States private-equity firm Bain Capital's USD18 billion deal to acquire Toshiba Corp's memory-chip unit.

Toshiba missed its initial end of March deadline for the completion of the deal due to prolonged antitrust screening by Chinese regulators.

Toshiba has obtained antitrust approval from China to sell its memory-chip business - Toshiba Memory - to a group led by Bain Capital, according to an NHK report.

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The deal will see Toshiba reinvest in the unit and together with Hoya Corp, a maker of parts for chip devices, Japanese firms will hold more than 50 per cent of the business - a keen wish of the Japanese government.

China's refusal reportedly was linked to its ongoing trade dispute with U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, but it seems officials have now done an about-face.

The good news for Toshiba is that those contingency plans are no longer necessary. Toshiba is No. 2 in the NAND flash memory market after Samsung Electronics.

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