Western Digital (WDC) CEO Steve Milligan will travel next week to Tokyo next week to meet with Toshiba President Satoshi Tsunakawa to hatch a plan to make shareholders more accepting of a buyout of Toshiba’s chip business by Western Digital, according to reports. The two companies have been in a bitter fight over Toshiba’s chip business, whose main plant in western Japan is jointly operated with Western Digital. Toshiba wants to sell the unit, which it values at at least $18 billion, to cover billions of dollars in cost overruns at its now bankrupt U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse. However, Western Digital has argued the unit cannot be sold without its consent and has demanded exclusive negotiating rights.
Western Digital reportedly has made an offer for the unit, but it is among the lowest Toshiba received in the first round of bidding. Other bidders were said to include Broadcom (AVGO), SK Hynix and Foxconn. So Western Digital, unable to match or beat other offers, has sought to delay a sale with legal remedies.