June 15, 2017 3:10 pm JST

Western Digital takes Toshiba to court in California

Hobbled Japanese company's US partner wants to block sale of chip unit

Western Digital, a big U.S. hard disk maker, announced on Wednesday that it has filed for an injunction in a California superior court to prevent Toshiba from transferring three NAND flash-memory joint ventures.

The two companies have locked horns over the sale of Toshiba Memory, the troubled Japanese corporation's chip unit.

On May 14, Western Digital filed a request with the ICC International Court of Arbitration, asking it to look into the matter, particularly in regard to three NAND flash-memory joint ventures the U.S. company operates with Toshiba.

Now Western Digital is taking an even harder line, one that could hold up the sale of Toshiba Memory.

"Toshiba's attempts to circumvent our contractual rights have left us with no choice but to take this action," Western Digital said in a statement.

"Western Digital's desire to work collaboratively with Toshiba for the benefit of the joint ventures and Japan is stronger than ever," Steve Milligan, CEO of Western Digital, said in a statement. "And we will continue to pursue a solution that is in the best interests of all parties."

It now appears that one of two camps will end up with Toshiba Memory. One is an alliance of Bain Capital of the U.S. and the Innovation Network Corp. of Japan, a public-private rescue fund. The other is American chip maker Broadcom.

Despite the arbitration request and legal action, Western Digital has made a bid to join the U.S.-Japan alliance.

The focus will now shift to whether Toshiba and the alliance can assuage Western Digital.

(Nikkei)

Toshiba Corp.

Japan

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