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Toshiba: Dear Western Digital. Let's talk flash fab moolah

Sell our interest we must, but current flash still needs cash...

By Chris Mellor

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Toshiba says it is now talking to Western Digital about joint investment in a flash fab development.

The two are joint venture partners in a flash foundry in Yokkaichi, Mie prefecture, Japan. In dire need of cash, Toshiba is trying to sell its interests to a Bain Capital-led consortium which won an auction for the business unit. A competing Western Digital-led consortium was a failed bidder.

WDC fires another shot at Toshiba in flash foundry spat, whispers: Pick me, Tosh!

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Relations between Toshiba and Western Digital have soured considerably over the past several months, with WD putting out a trenchant and uncompromising statement of its perceived rights in the JV, which rights prevent Toshiba disposing of its JV interest without Western Dig's consent, or making investments in foundry development without WD's participation.

Now a Tosh exec, Yasuo Naruke has spoken at a news conference and said channels were open for talks with Western Digital about joint foundry investments.

Reuters report goes further and has him saying Tosh is discussing joint investment with Western Digital Corp. Also it's best that WDC and Tosh cooperate to resist strong competition from flash industry leader Samsung.

At the conference, Toshiba emphasised it was going ahead with the Bain consortium deal nevertheless. ®

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