“Apple Inc. has sought to stop Western Digital Corp. from taking control of Toshiba Corp’s chip business by threatening not to buy its products in the future, people with knowledge of the deal said,” Taro Fuse reports for Reuters. “Apple, which uses Toshiba’s NAND flash memory chips in its iPhones, is concerned about losing pricing power if Western Digital is running the operation, the sources said on Friday.”
“However, if Western Digital remains a minority investor in the business, Apple, a top customer for Toshiba chips, is offering around 50 billion yen ($460 million) to a group including the U.S. firm to help finance a bid, one source said,” Fuse reports. “Western Digital, which jointly invests in Toshiba’s key chip plant, is leading a $17-18 billion bid for the chip business, sources familiar with the talks have said.”
“Toshiba executives, fearing that Western Digital was angling to eventually take over the chip business, are demanding that the U.S. company promise to limit the size of its stake in the company, sources said, requesting anonymity as talks were confidential,” Fuse reports. “Last week, Toshiba said it had not yet narrowed the pool of suitors and was also looking at a bid from U.S. private equity firm Bain as well as one from Taiwan’s Foxconn. All three bids have involved Apple, Toshiba’s key memory chip customer, sources said.”
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MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s in the mix whichever way Toshiba goes.
Foxconn details plan to acquire Toshiba chips unit; Apple would own 20 percent – September 7, 2017
Bain Capital brings in Apple for last-minute $18 billion bid for Toshiba chip unit – August 30, 2017
Apple and Amazon to back Foxconn on Toshiba chip bid, Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou says – June 5, 2017
Apple may bid for big stake in Toshiba – April 17, 2017
U.S. suitors get major advantage as Japan to vet bidders in Toshiba chip sale over national security risks – March 10, 2017