Analysis & Comment

Bain-backed memory chipmaker Kioxia launches $3.6 billion IPO: filing

TOKYO (Reuters) – Kioxia Holdings, the world’s second-largest maker of flash memory chips, will list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Oct. 6 in an initial public offering worth up to $3.6 billion, a regulatory filing showed on Thursday.

The listing would be Japan’s biggest IPO this year and allow a partial exit by U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital, which led a consortium that bought the former unit of Toshiba Corp (6502.T) in 2018.

Kioxia, formerly known as Toshiba Memory, will offer up to 95.5 million shares in the IPO, including an overallotment in the event of exceptional demand, the filing with the Ministry of Finance showed.

At Kioxia’s indicative price of 3,960 yen per share, the company will offer up to 378 billion yen ($3.6 billion) in shares and have a market value of 2.13 trillion yen ($20.1 billion).

The Bain-led consortium, which includes South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc (000660.KS), acquired Kioxia for $18 billion in 2018, when Toshiba scrambled to plug a financial hole caused by the failure of its U.S. nuclear power unit.

Bain, which initially planned to list Kioxia last year, pushed back the listing because of deteriorating market conditions.

Flash memory prices are unstable, but analysts see strong demand from cloud service providers and data centre players needing more data storage for artificial intelligence, autonomous driving and the Internet of Things.

Toshiba, which reinvested to take a 40.2% stake in Kioxia, said it plans to sell down the stake and will return a majority of the net proceeds to shareholders.

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