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Argyle: Toshiba chip unit is worth up to $40 billion

Argyle Street Management says the Toshiba chip unit is worth up to US$40 billion. The Hong Kong-based activist said the Toshiba Corp. chip unit had a value above the agreed-upon price with a consortium led by Bain where it was too cheap to be in the turmoil of the financial crisis last year.

Toshiba Memory, the world's number two NAND chip maker, will sell for 2 trillion yen (US$18.6 billion), but Argyle believes the unit is worth 3.3 trillion yen to 4.4 trillion yen. The range is in line with the views of most analysts who value the unit nearly 4 trillion yen.

Tinuku Argyle Toshiba chip unit is worth up to $40 billion

Sales failed to close the deadline approved on March 31 as both sides are still awaiting approval from China. This gives Toshiba the option to cancel the sale without penalty. A Toshiba spokesman declined to comment on Argyle's statement.

The Bain consortium last year won a very controversial battle for the unit. Toshiba sold the unit after billions of dollars of bankruptcy in the Westinghouse nuclear unit caused it to fall into crisis. Under an agreement, Toshiba will not hand over the chip unit completely because it plans to buy back 40 percent of the shares.

The semiconductor demand explosion has doubled annual earnings and the 3D NANDs that have stacked cell structures giving much larger storage capacity will still have long-term bright prospects. Market demand on NAND 3D is likely to be increasingly used for data servers, cars, and game consoles.

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