SK Hynix, Micron named as possible Toshiba bidders

February 8, 2017 // 11:37 a.m.

Tags: #bain-capital #financial #hynix #investment #micron #samsung #sk-hynix #spin-off #toshiba #western-digital

Western Digital may be in for a fight over Toshiba's upcoming memory division spin-off, with unnamed sources suggesting that SK Hynix and Micron are both interested in picking up a share of the resulting company.

Rumours that Toshiba was looking to raise quick cash by spinning off its semiconductor division surfaced back in January with anonymous sources telling the Nikkei Asian Review that the company hoped to sell a 20 percent stake in the resulting company. That 20 percent, it was claimed, was to be snapped up by Western Digital, which has been going heavy into solid-state storage of late and which already runs a NAND flash fabrication facility in Yokkaichi with Toshiba.

Later that month, Toshiba confirmed its plans with the news that it was to seek 'an injection of third-party capital as a financial measure' by spinning off its semiconductor business excluding image sensors and selling a chunk to a third party. Toshiba didn't, however, name said third party, and Western Digital has remained silent on the matter also.

Now, though, newswire service Reuters cites unnamed sources as stating that Western Digital may not be the only company interested in bailing Toshiba out in exchange for a bigger slice of the memory market pie: SK Hynix, the second-largest semiconductor company in the world, has been named as an interested party in competition to Western Digital. Micron Technology and investment groups including Bain Capital have also been fingered as sniffing around the deal, though interestingly Samsung - the world's largest memory maker - was specifically ruled out as a potential investor.

Neither Toshiba nor any of the named companies have confirmed or denied the sources' claims.

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