Western Digital seeks injunction to stop Toshiba sale

June 15, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
Western Digital Corp. has sought injunctive relief in the Superior Court of California to prevent Toshiba transferring three NAND flash memory joint ventures until previously filed requests for arbitration have been decided.

The move would effectively block the planned sell off of Toshiba's semiconductor business without Western Digital's approval, effectively giving Western Digital a right of first refusal on the deal.

"While we have worked diligently with both Toshiba and the Japanese government to develop a solution that is in the best interests of all parties, Toshiba has continued to try to invent ways to circumvent Western Digital's bargained-for consent rights under the JV agreements," Western Digital wrote in a statement.

Western Digital added that Toshiba has no right to offer to transfer its JV interests to a third party and has no ability to enter into any transaction with a third party without obtaining consent. 

These long-standing joint ventures were originally formed with SanDisk, which was subsequently acquired by Western Digital in 2015 (see China-backed Western Digital swoops on SanDisk ). "Toshiba has acknowledged and validated SanDisk's consent rights on multiple occasions in the past," Western Digital said in the statement.

"Toshiba Corporation's attempts to circumvent our contractual rights have left us with no choice but to take this action," said Western Digital CEO Steve Milligan, in a statement. "It is our concern that, left unchecked, Toshiba would pursue a course that clearly violates these rights and also runs decidedly counter to the best interests of the JVs and also to the hard-working people at Toshiba Corporation's NAND flash business in Japan."

Related links and articles:

www.wdc.com

www.toshiba.co.jp

http://sfsuperiorcourt.org/online-services

News articles:

China-backed Western Digital swoops on SanDisk

Broadcom tipped to win Toshiba memory business

Silver Lake, Broadcom bid $18bn for Toshiba Memory

Western Digital tells Toshiba it is not free to sell