Japan trade ministry asks Western Digital to join Japan Government-Bain consortium for Toshiba chip unit: sources

FILE PHOTO: A Western Digital office building is shown in Irvine, California, U.S., January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - The Japanese trade ministry is in talks with Western Digital Corp WDC.O about the U.S. firm joining a government-led consortium chosen as the preferred bidder for Toshiba Corp's 6502.T chip business, people familiar with the matter said.

Western Digital, which jointly operates Toshiba’s main chip plant, has sought a court injunction to prevent its partner from selling its chip business without the U.S. firm’s consent.

The consortium has told Toshiba it needs to resolve its legal dispute with Western Digital Corp WDC.O before it will invest in the firm's chip unit, separate people briefed on the matter said.

The group consists of a state-backed fund, the Innovation Network Corp of Japan (INCJ), the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ), as well as U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital.

South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc 000660.KS and the core banking unit of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc 8306.T are set to provide financing.

Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki and Taro Fuse; Editing by Christopher Cushing