Toshiba's NAND business for sale: SK Hynix is bidding

February 07, 2017 // By Julien Happich
Last January, Reuters was reporting that Japanese conglomerate Toshiba was making plans to spin-off its chip business, hoping to raise more than 200 billion yen ($1.8 billion) by selling a 20 percent stake in it.

At an estimated 1 trillion yen to 1.5 trillion yen ($8.8 billion to $13.2 billion), Toshiba's chip business is the world's second-biggest NAND flash memory producer after Samsung Electronics.

According to a news report from The Korea Times, SK Hynix, the world's second-largest memory chipmaker, had submitted an initial bid to buy these 20 percent (worth $2.62 billion) to boost its production of NAND flash chips used in smartphones.

The world's second-largest memory chipmaker said Tuesday that it had submitted an initial bid, last week, to buy a 20 percent stake in the Japanese firm's well-performing unit, worth 3 trillion won ($2.62 billion).

"We presented a non-binding proposal to Toshiba. We have yet to make the final bid, though. We will come up with a new filing in a month if we make a final decision on the issue," the firm said in a regulatory filing.
Although SK Hynix is the world's second-largest DRAM supplier after Samsung Electronics, it ranks fourth in terms of market share for NAND behind Samsung, Toshiba and the US company Western Digital.
Such an acquisition would definitely reinforce SK's market position. The report cites Toshiba's current NAND partner Western Digital and Tsinghua Unigroup, China's top state chip manufacturer as SK Hynix's potential rivals to pick up the 20 percent stake.

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