Toshiba says it is considering sale of majority stake in chip unit

FILE PHOTO- A logo of Toshiba Corp is seen on a printed circuit board in this photo illustration taken in Tokyo July 31, 2012. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao/File Phot

TOKYO (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp 6502.T said on Friday it is looking to sell a majority stake in its prized flash memory chip business to plug a hole in its finances from a $6.3 billion writedown of its U.S. nuclear unit.

The beleaguered conglomerate is “aiming to make a final decision in early fiscal 2017,” which starts in April, it said in a regulatory filing.

Toshiba will outline terms of the sale by the end of February, conduct a first round of bids in March and aim to have chosen a preferred bidder or bidders by the end of May, a person with knowledge of the matter told Reuters earlier this week.

A separate source said Toshiba wants to raise at least 1 trillion yen ($8.8 billion) to create a buffer for any fresh financial problems, with interest already received from investment funds, other chipmakers and client companies.

Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Edwina Gibbs