Japan: Apple joins for last-minute US$18b Toshiba chip unit bid

A consortium led by Bain Capital has made a revised last-ditch offer for Toshiba’s chip unit worth about US$18 billion, bringing in Apple to help bolster its bid, sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The new offer comes as separate sources say the embattled Japanese conglomerate and Western Digital Corp are struggling to strike a deal ahead of their self-imposed deadline of Thursday.

Toshiba has been scrambling to sell its flash memory unit – the world’s No. 2 producer of NAND chips – to cover billions in losses at its bankrupt US nuclear business Westinghouse.

Toshiba’s relationship with Western Digital, its joint venture partner for its chip business, has been rocky throughout the auction process – to the point that other bidders were favored first while the US firm has also initiated legal action that threatens to derail any deal that does not have its consent.

The revised offer is worth some 2 trillion yen (US$18.2 billion). Bain and South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc will be responsible for 1.1 trillion yen (US$10 billion), while Apple will provide up to 400 billion yen (US$3.6 billion) and Japanese banks will give around 600 billion yen (US$5.5 billion) in support, one of the sources said.

By taking part in the bidding, Apple could help ensure a competitive supply chain and lessen its dependence on the chip division of Samsung, a key rival in the smartphone business.

Full Content: Japan Times

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