Two of the US’s technology giants Dell Inc. and Apple Inc. are reportedly willing to support a Foxconn-led consortium bidding for Toshiba Corp’s reputable chip making division. According to online sources, Kingston Technology Co – leading manufacturer of memory products based in the US – is also going to join the bidding group while Amazon.com was also believed to take interest in the same.
Apart from this particular consortium, other major forms such as Cisco Systems Inc., Microsoft Corp, and Alphabet Inc’s Google are rumored to take part in the biding process. Meanwhile, Toshiba is desperately looking for a suitor who can offer the right price for one of the world’s largest producers of NAND chips. The company has kept the base price at over $18 billion, which help the company to cover a massive cost overrun and nearly bankrupt its nuclear division Westinghouse Electric Corp. in the US. On the other hand, Foxconn’s contention for the unit has been dismissed several times due to its heavy involvement in China, where it runs several manufacturing facilities. Reportedly, Japanese government is reluctant on allowing any deal that could risk transfer of exclusive chip technology to any other country. However, the Foxconn-led consortium apparently has no Chinese backing and might be benefited from low antitrust scrutiny unlike other participants. Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. and its unit in Japan Sharp Corp will account for not more than 40% stake if it succeeds in winning the bid, whereas, other representatives from the consortium are yet to be approached regarding the same. Involvement of few of the biggest tech firms in Foxconn’s uncertain bidding for the hotly contested auction in likely to make things more interesting.
Incidentally, another major bidder; Western Digital Corp is reportedly planning to raise its offer for Toshiba’s prestigious semiconductor unit. The Chipmaker based in U.S. is also part of the consortium led by a technology business funding venture backed by the Japanese government. Apparently, the group is willing to present a new offer of around 2 trillion yen ($18 billion). Moreover, some sources suggest that The Innovation Network Corp, which is backed by the state is looking for other potential members who could join the consortium, Bain Capital being a primary target. Some of the industry experts are suggesting that Western Digital might play an important role if this consortium manages to successfully complete the deal, as it currently operates a key flash-memory chip facility in collaboration with Toshiba in Japan.