By Taro Fuse
TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. buyout firm Bain Capital is likely to push back the IPO of Toshiba Memory by around two months, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday, moving to November what is likely to be one of Japan’s biggest listings this year.
Depending on market conditions, the timing could be further pushed as far back as summer 2020, the person said on condition of anonymity, without elaborating on reasons for the initial two-month change.
Toshiba Memory is the world’s second-largest maker of NAND memory chips. A consortium led by Bain and including South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc acquired the business for $18 billion last year.
Reuters reported last month that Bain had picked Nomura and Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley to manage the initial public offering (IPO) and that the listing could happen as early as September.
A Toshiba Memory spokesman on Wednesday said there was no change to its plan to go public within three years from the acquisition, and that the exact timing had not been decided.
A Bain representative was not immediately able to comment.
Jiji news agency reported on Wednesday, citing sources, that consortium members disagreed on the timing.
Some in the consortium wanted a swift access to capital that could be use to catch overseas rivals, whereas others wanted to ride out weakness in the semiconductor market, Jiji reported.
Toshiba Corp was forced to sell its prized memory business after being plunged into crisis by cost overruns at its U.S. nuclear power subsidiary.
It then reinvested $3.1 billion for a 40 percent stake in Toshiba Memory, a move some analysts considered worrisome given over-capacity in NAND memory chips used in smartphones and data storage servers.
(Reporting by Taro Fuse; Additional reporting by Junko Fujita and Makiko Yamazaki; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim and Christopher Cushing)