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Toshiba President Satoshi Tsunakawa

5-way battle brewing for Toshiba's memory ops

Rescue fund, development bank may emerge as kingmakers

| Japan

TOKYO -- Four bidders and U.S. partner Western Digital are competing to buy Toshiba's cash-cow memory chip unit, with some pursuing co-ownership schemes with two state-backed entities in order to gain an edge.

During a meeting Thursday at its Tokyo headquarters, Toshiba told Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., Mizuho Bank and other principal lenders that it will begin negotiating with four suitors that submitted second-round bids for Toshiba Memory. The Japanese conglomerate will also enter into separate discussions with Western Digital, which is seeking to block the auction on contractual grounds.

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