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Kioxia Plans to List as Early as October as Merger Talks Stall

In Technology
April 16, 2024

(Bloomberg) — Kioxia Holdings Corp. plans to go public on the Tokyo Stock Exchange as early as October, even as some executives hope to revive merger talks with Western Digital Corp.

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The NAND flash memory pioneer is prioritizing a solo listing to capitalize on a surge in domestic chip-related shares, according to people familiar with the matter. Kioxia can revisit a deal with Western Digital after the IPO, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the talks are still in flux and discussions are private.

Kioxia faces a June deadline to refinance as much as ¥900 billion ($5.8 billion) worth of loans, and a public listing will help its negotiations with banks, the people said. A public listing will help its negotiations with banks, they said. The company’s largest stakeholder Bain Capital has also met with banks to discuss plans for the initial public offering, they said.

Kioxia hasn’t made a final decision and plans could still change depending on market conditions.

“We are still preparing for an IPO at the appropriate time, but have no new information to share as of today,” a Kioxia representative said. Representatives at Bain declined to comment.

The prospect of an IPO surfaced after on-again-off-again merger talks between Kioxia and Western Digital collapsed last year due in part to opposition from SK Hynix Inc. The world’s No. 2 memory chipmaker, an indirect shareholder in the Japanese chipmaker, said the deal undervalued its stake.

–With assistance from Takako Taniguchi and Min Jeong Lee.

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