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Toshiba will sell its memory chip business “by June”

Japanese tech giant Toshiba expects to complete the $18bn sale of its memory chip business by June, Reuters has reported.

Yasuo Naruke, head of the firm’s semiconductor business, told reporters in Japan that the firm has been “making various efforts to close the deal in March”, adding that if the deadline passes the deal would close “at some point in April, May or June”.

Toshiba is the second biggest manufacturer of NAND flash memory chips, after Samsung. It was prompted to sell off the chip division after its US nuclear unit was declared bankrupt last year.

It agreed to sell the unit to a consortium led by US private equity firm Bain Capital in September. But the deal is now awaiting regulatory approval from China’s antitrust watchdog.

Toshiba isn’t the only Japanese tech firm eyeing a sale of a core part of its business. In January, Softbank confirmed it was considering listing its mobile phone unit in Tokyo, and possibly London, this year.

The Japanese telecoms giant is looking to sell around 30 per cent of the division for 2 trillion yen (£13.1bn), while retaining the remaining stake. It could become one of Japan’s biggest initial public offerings to date, rivalling Nippon Telegraph and Telephone’s IPO in 1987.

Softbank Group said in a statement in January it was considering the IPO, but that “no decision has been made to officially proceed with this course”.