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Toshiba starts process to sell stake in chip business: Kyodo

Tomohiro Ohsumi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Toshiba has started the process to sell a minority stake in its profitable flash memory chip business, expecting to fetch several billion dollars as it faces a bigger-than-expected writedown for its U.S. nuclear business, Kyodo News reported.

European private equity fund Permira and U.S. fund Bain Capital are interested in the bid for what is expected to be the sale of 20-30 percent of the memory chip business, which Toshiba is expected to split off, Kyodo said, citing sources.

Earlier this week, the troubled conglomerate confirmed it was discussing a spin-off of its memory chips business, but that nothing had been decided yet.

Toshiba's financial crisis deepened as media reported it may unveil a bigger-than-expected $6 billion writedown for its U.S. nuclear business, driving its shares down 16 percent on Thursday.

The shares extended their loses on Friday, opening down 6.3 percent at 227.1 yen.