Toshiba to Sell Memory Chip Unit to Consortium That Includes Apple

by

After months of negotiations, Toshiba has decided to sell its memory chip unit to a global consortium that includes Bain Capital, SK Hynix, Dell, and Apple, reports Reuters.

No official announcement has been made by Toshiba as of yet, but the company is expected to announce the sale on Wednesday. As of Tuesday, Toshiba was said to be leaning towards a group backed by Western Digital, but Western Digital is said to have failed to agree to some of Toshiba's terms regarding limits on WD's future stake in the business.


Western Digital may still attempt to block the sale and is said to be prepared to seek a court injunction to stop it. Western Digital previously invested in Toshiba's semiconductor plant and claims its consent is required for the sale.

Toshiba first announced plans to sell its NAND flash memory unit in January of 2017 to raise funds to cover losses associated with its U.S. nuclear subsidiary, Westinghouse. Many companies, including TSMC, Foxconn, Amazon, Google, Broadcom, and a range of private equity firms entered bids in an effort to get a piece of the memory chip unit.

The consortium, led by Bain Capital, was selected as the preferred bidder in June, and in September, entered a higher bid amid fierce competition. Apple, SK Hynix, Dell, and Bain Capital are said to have offered a combined 2.4 trillion yen, equivalent to $22 billion, along with an additional 200 billion yen for infrastructure.

As of early September, Bain and SK Hynix were said to be providing a total of 567.5 billion yen, while Apple was reported to be offering 335 billion yen, equivalent to $3 billion. That sum is in line with reports suggesting Apple was prepared to spend several billion dollars for a "substantial stake" in the memory business.

Bain, Apple, Dell, and SK Hynix will own a combined 49.9 percent stake in the chip unit, with Toshiba keeping 40 percent and Japanese firms controlling the other 10.1 percent should the sale go through.

Apple already uses Toshiba's flash memory in its products. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus include memory sourced from both Toshiba and SK Hynix.

Tag: Toshiba

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
39 months ago
Better this way than some other offers.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
39 months ago
This won't be over 'til Western Digital has its day in court (or is that mediation?), sometime in 2018.

Overall, I find this interesting. It's a measure of the importance of the way in which chipmakers are approaching the manufacture of Flash. Clearly, companies like Apple and Dell can't trust the chipmakers to expand Flash production capacity sufficiently to lead to a drop in demand-driven pricing (like OPEC deciding how much petroleum to pump).

I once worked for a media company that owned large newspapers. They did something similar, buying part-ownership of paper mills to assure a stable supply.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
39 months ago
If this goes through, it should give Apple even more priority access to the vast amounts of required flash memory, than they already have, especially with SK Hynix in the mix also.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
39 months ago

This won't be over 'til Western Digital has its day in court (or is that mediation?), sometime in 2018.

Overall, I find this interesting. It's a measure of the importance of the way in which chipmakers are approaching the manufacture of Flash. Clearly, companies like Apple and Dell can't trust the chipmakers to expand Flash production capacity sufficiently to lead to a drop in demand-driven pricing (like OPEC deciding how much petroleum to pump).

I once worked for a media company that owned large newspapers. They did something similar, buying part-ownership of paper mills to assure a stable supply.

Back when Tim Cook was running supply chain for Steve Jobs he was a master of buying up NAND to the point where competitors had difficulty maintaining end product volumes. This was before Samsungs and Huaweis and Xiaomis and LGs. Now, iPhone isn't the defacto smartphone anymore and I think it makes sense to own a piece of that supply chain rather than count on satisfactory contracts.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
39 months ago

This won't be over 'til Western Digital has its day in court (or is that mediation?), sometime in 2018.

Overall, I find this interesting. It's a measure of the importance of the way in which chipmakers are approaching the manufacture of Flash. Clearly, companies like Apple and Dell can't trust the chipmakers to expand Flash production capacity sufficiently to lead to a drop in demand-driven pricing (like OPEC deciding how much petroleum to pump).

I once worked for a media company that owned large newspapers. They did something similar, buying part-ownership of paper mills to assure a stable supply.

Right on the money.

It's ridiculous how NAND is basically the oil of the 21st century, let's hope this whole situation will get better in the mid-run.

Demand for storage is ever increasing and we are entering a period where, if supply was better, could soon replace HDDs with NAND for good, ESPECIALLY as we approach the peak of what is possible with HDDs nowadays. Not everyone wants to look at SMR technology as a good compromise of density, price and speed.

Glassed Silver:win
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
39 months ago
Dude, you're getting a Dell! (and Apple).
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

Apple Releases iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 With Home Screen Redesign, App Library, Compact UI, Translate App, Scribble Support, App Clips, and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple has released iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, the newest operating system updates designed for the iPhone and iPad. As with all of Apple's software updates, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 can be downloaded for free. iOS 14 is available on the iPhone 6s and later, while iPadOS 14 is available on the iPad Air 2 and later. The updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To ...

Apple Releases Safari 14 for Mac Ahead of macOS Big Sur Launch

Wednesday September 16, 2020 1:40 pm PDT by
macOS Big Sur didn't launch alongside iOS 14, iPadOS 14, tvOS 14, and watchOS 7 today, with the update coming later this fall, but Apple did release the Safari 14 update for macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave users. Safari 14 brings improved performance, customizable start pages, a Privacy Report to see which cross-site trackers are being blocked, and a new tab bar design that provides tab...

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...

Spotify Says Apple One Bundle Will Cause 'Irreparable Harm to Developer Community'

Tuesday September 15, 2020 12:26 pm PDT by
Apple today announced Apple One, a series of new subscription bundles that provide access to various Apple services at a combined monthly price. In response, Spotify sent out statements (via Peter Kafka) to the press decrying Apple's anti-competitive behavior and calling on "competition authorities" to stop Apple before it is able to cause "irreparable harm" to developers.Once again, Apple...

Apple Releases watchOS 7 With New Watch Faces, Family Setup, Sleep Tracking, Handwashing Help and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:47 pm PDT by
Apple today released watchOS 7, the newest version of the watchOS operating system designed to run on modern Apple Watch models. The watchOS 7 update comes after several months of beta testing. ‌watchOS 7‌ can be downloaded for free through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update. To install the new software, the Apple Watch needs to have at...

New AirPods Pro Firmware Introduces Spatial Audio Support and Automatic Switching

Monday September 14, 2020 12:22 pm PDT by
The new 3A283 firmware that Apple released for the AirPods Pro today appears to introduce support for Spatial Audio, a new feature coming to the higher-end AirPods with iOS 14. Multiple reports on Twitter and the MacRumors forums indicate that the firmware update adds a "Spatial Audio" option to the Control Center, which can be activated to enable the feature. Note that using Spatial Audio...

Here Are All of the New Apple Watch Faces Apple Announced Today

Tuesday September 15, 2020 2:55 pm PDT by
Apple today announced the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE, both of which will be compatible with new watch faces that are being introduced in the watchOS 7 update set to be released tomorrow. Apple has provided a video highlighting all of the new Apple Watch faces, with details on each one. GMT - The GMT face shows multiple time zones at once, while also taking into...

iOS 14.2 Beta Adds New Shazam Music Recognition Feature for Control Center

Thursday September 17, 2020 3:36 pm PDT by
Apple today released the first beta of iOS 14.2 to developers for testing purposes, and the new update introduces a Music Recognition control for the Control Center. The new feature lets you discover music playing around you and it recognizes the music playing with in apps, even when you're wearing AirPods. Songs pop up as notifications, and you can tap to listen in Apple Music....