Dec 14 (Reuters) - Chinese regulators have opened an antitrust investigation into Toshiba Corp’s $18 billion deal to sell its memory chip unit to a consortium led by Bain Capital LP that includes memory maker SK Hynix, possibly delaying the March closing date Toshiba’s leaders have targeted, the Nikkei Asian Review newspaper reported on Friday.

Chinese regulators started their review earlier this month, despite the fact that Toshiba had applied for it in September, when it reached a deal with Bain and its partners, the newspaper said. (s.nikkei.com/2o31P4B)

Such reviews in China typically take about four months but sometimes stretch to six, making it unclear whether Toshiba can hit its March 2018 target for closing the deal, the paper said.

A U.S.-based spokeswoman for Toshiba was not immediately able to comment on the report.

Toshiba is racing against the clock to complete the deal because it needs to bolster its balance sheet before March to avoid potentially being delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange. A delisting would be a major blow for one of Japan’s largest and oldest industrial companies.  read the rest here

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Toshiba Corp. may have settled its differences with joint venture partner Western Digital Corp., but the company’s nearly $18 billion sale of Toshiba Memory Corp. is not out of the woods yet, with the Nikkei Asian Review newspaper reporting on Friday that Chinese regulators are investigating the deal for potential antitrust concerns. According to the report, the investigation began earlier this month and could push back Toshiba’s hopeful closing date of March. The Toshiba deal sees TMC being sold to a group backed by Boston-based Bain Capital. It was inked in October and has faced its share of issues, including a lengthy arbitration with Western Digital.

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