Silver Lake, Broadcom table $17.9-bn bid for Toshiba's chip unit

Tammy Harvey
April 7, 2017

A group of top tech companies like Apple, Google and Amazon are interested in purchasing Toshiba's memory chip business. Nikkei reported on Friday that USA private equity firm Silver Lake and US chipmaker Broadcom offered Toshiba about 2 trillion yen ($18 billion) for the unit.

The report indicated that other firms also have come forward with bids, and Toshiba is expected to select a victor before its general shareholder's meeting in late June.

Apple, Amazon, and Google, among others, are said to be involved in a bidding war for the business, which accounts for 20 percent of the NAND market.

Apple Inc, Inc and Google have joined bidding for Toshiba's NAND flash memory unit, vying with others for the Japanese firm's prized semiconductor operation, the Yomiuri Shimbun daily reported today.

In January, the company revealed it would sell a portion of its flash memory business, including the SSD business of the Storage & Electronic Device Solutions Division, to Western Digital. The company aimed to raise at least 1 trillion yen ($9 billion) but has been reportedly offered 2 trillion yen already.

The red ink is largely tied to huge cost overruns and construction delays at its USA nuclear power unit Westinghouse Electric, which filed for bankruptcy protection late March.

The latest bit comes amidst the specter of the company having its shares delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Toshiba is expected to negotiate with individual candidates this month. Toshiba is in fact thought to be leaning towards USA companies, not only because of security but because going in that direction could ease dealings with the US government over Westinghouse. Apple, on the other hand, would be able to use the memory chips, which it's now buying from Toshiba and Samsung, in its smartphones.

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