Toshiba's board has reportedly agreed to sell its memory chip business for $18.9 billion

Toshiba’s board has agreed to sell the company’s Nand flash memory chip business for ¥2.1 trillion ($US18.9 billion) to a consortium that includes private equity group Bain Capital and Apple, The Financial Times reports.

At least $US3 billion (£2.2 billion) will reportedly come from Apple, while Dell, Seagate, Kingston, and chipmaker SK Hynix will pledge smaller amounts.

Sources close to the deal told The Financial Times that the deal was likely to be signed on Wednesday after some minor details were clarified.

Apple uses Toshiba’s flash memory in its iPhones and iPods. Taking a stake in Toshiba’s memory chips business through Bain could give it a more reliable supply and enable it to become less dependent on rival Samsung, Bloomberg reports.

Toshiba needs to sell the memory chip business to help cover the costs of its new US nuclear business. It has been under pressure to sell from its biggest lenders, a trio of Japanese banks, according to The Financial Times.

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