Apple May Also Be Among Bidders for Toshiba's NAND Flash Chip Unit

Posted April 07, 2017

That is on the high end of estimates of the memory business' value.

The report says that their are 10 bidders in total looking to buy Toshiba's NAND unit, though specific price points aren't clear at this point.

Google and Amazon joined a list of potential buyers eyeing Toshiba's lucrative memory chip business as the Japanese conglomerate seeks bidders to cover huge losses, a newspaper reported yesterday.

Several major players, including Apple, Amazon and Google, are said to be in a bidding war for the prize of a "business in a box" in a growing market.

The Nikkei business daily reported on Friday that USA private equity firm Silver Lake Partners SILAK.UL and US chipmaker Broadcom Ltd AVGO.O have offered Toshiba about 2 trillion yen ($18 billion) for the unit.

The news report came after angry investors lambasted Toshiba executives at a shareholders meeting over its warning that annual losses could balloon to more than $9.0 billion.

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The red ink is largely tied to huge cost overruns and construction delays at its U.S. nuclear power unit Westinghouse Electric, which filed for bankruptcy protection this week. Assuming the memory operations' net assets are worth 500 billion yen to 600 billion yen, the business would need to sell for around 1.5 trillion yen for Toshiba to net 1 trillion yen.

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

Toshiba will start negotiating with individual candidates next month, the Nikkei said.

It added that any proposed investment by a foreign company would require a government review because of worries over technology outflows and leak of security information from systems using Toshiba memory chips.

According to sources, about 10 companies have taken part in the bidding and some of their offers were well over ¥2 trillion.