Apple, Amazon, Google said to join bidding for Toshiba chip unit

The logo of Toshiba Corp is seen behind a traffic light at the company's headquarters in Tokyo

The logo of Toshiba Corp is seen behind a traffic light at the company's headquarters in Tokyo Japan

If the loss in relation to its capital were to be reported in the company's financial statement for the October-December quarter, Toshiba would be in capital deficit.

The report noted that around 10 bidders - including peers such as USA -based Western Digital, a hard-drive maker that partners with Toshiba on memory, and South Korea'sSK Hynix - have stepped forward.

Toshiba had earlier not decided on the actual size of the stake sale, but is now reported to be ready to sell a majority stake or even its entire stake in the Nand memory chip unit, which makes memory chips for mobiles and tablets and is its most valuable business.

Nikkei reported that US private-equity firm Silver Lake Partners and American chipmaker Broadcom, part of the firm's portfolio, apparently tendered a roughly 2 trillion yen or $17.9 billion bid.

The Yomiuri newspaper said bidding prices from Apple, Amazon or Google, owned by Alphabet Inc, were not known.

They came a day after angry investors lambasted Toshiba executives at a shareholder meeting for its warning that annual losses could balloon to more than $9.0 billion. While the Japanese conglomerate, which was attempting diversification beyond consumer electronics, forayed into nuclear technology, the attempt backfired due to numerous project delays, which eventually led to its nuclear arm, Westinghouse Electric unit, filing for bankruptcy last week.

Toshiba is expected to negotiate with individual candidates this month.

Toshiba bought Westinghouse in 2006 for $5.4 billion but it is facing problems over its USA nuclear business. Apple, on the other hand, would be able to use the memory chips, which it's now buying from Toshiba and Samsung, in its smartphones.

The American government has guaranteed loans of US$8.3 billion to help finance some of the construction of four reactors in the US.

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