Japan government investors tell Toshiba of plan to join chip unit bidding: sources

Toshiba Corp CEO Satoshi Tsunakawa bows at the start of a news conference at the company's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan May 15, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

TOKYO (Reuters) - Two Japanese government-backed investors have formally informed Toshiba Corp 6502.T of their intention to take part in bids for its prized flash memory chip business, sources familiar with the matter said.

State-backed fund Innovation Network Corp of Japan (INCJ) and the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) told the conglomerate of their intention on Friday, said the sources, who declined to be identified because the talks were private.

It was not clear whether INCJ and DBJ were working together or if they would be teaming up with other suitors.

INCJ declined to comment. A representative for DBJ was not immediately available to comment.

The Japanese TVs-to-nuclear conglomerate plans to close a second round of bidding for the world’s second-largest NAND chip manufacturer on Friday.

Crisis-wracked Toshiba, which is depending on the sale to cover a $9 billion hole in its accounts due to problems at now bankrupt unit Westinghouse, is also open to entertaining new bids after the second round closes, a person with knowledge of the matter has said.

Reporting by Taro Fuse; Writing by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Edwina Gibbs