Japanese chipmaker Rohm considering joining JIP for Toshiba buyout

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FILE PHOTO: The logo of Toshiba Corp is displayed atop of the company's facility building in Kawasaki, Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) -Japanese chipmaker Rohm Co Ltd said on Wednesday it was considering joining a consortium led by private equity fund Japan Industrial Partners (JIP) to buy out Toshiba Corp, as JIP works to consolidate its proposal.

The Nikkei newspaper reported that Kyoto-based Rohm planned to invest up to about 300 billion yen ($2.14 billion) in the proposed 2.2 trillion yen acquisition of Toshiba, citing multiple sources it did not name.

A Rohm spokesperson confirmed that the company was considering joining the JIP consortium for the buyout but added that nothing had been decided, including the amount of any investment.

Rohm and Toshiba are both major manufacturers of power management chips, which efficiently control electric power in cars, electronic devices and industrial equipment. It’s an area where Japan still holds strengths despite its shrinking presence in the global chip industry.

JIP has contacted several Japanese companies to join the bid for Toshiba, including utility Chubu Electric Power Co Inc and financial services group Orix Corp , sources familiar with the matter have said.

The Nikkei also reported that automaker Suzuki Motor Corp planned to invest some tens of billions of yen in the proposed deal, while construction firm Taisei Corp also intended to take part, though the size of its proposed investment was unknown.

Suzuki buys automotive batteries from Toshiba.

More than 10 Japanese companies would invest a total of one trillion yen for the bid for Toshiba, with the rest to be financed by banks and others holding no voting rights, the Nikkei said.

Toshiba, Suzuki and Taisei declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

($1 = 139.8900 yen)

(Reporting by Mariko Katsumura, Makiko Yamazaki and Satoshi Sugiyama; Writing by Daniel Leussink; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Tom Hogue)

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