Toshiba Corp. wants to sell its chip business in a deal where the potential buyer will retain all the workers currently employed, sources close to the matter said Friday.

The stance is intended to allay concerns both inside and outside the troubled company about the possibility of major job cuts as a result of a foreign company or investment fund taking control of the chip business, they said.

Toshiba had earlier decided not to sell any stake in its chip business before the March 31 end of the current fiscal year, in a move that makes it certain the company will have a negative net worth at the year's end.

The company earlier this week estimated a loss of ¥712.5 billion ($6.23 billion) from its U.S. nuclear business in the April-December period on an unaudited basis and fell to a negative net worth of ¥191.2 billion at the end of December.

Toshiba is the world's second-biggest producer of NAND flash memory chips after South Korea's Samsung Electronics. The chips are used in devices such as smartphones.