A marriage of the desperate: Apple joins bid for Toshiba’s memory chip business
By CGTN’s Yang Jing
As well as unveiling the 10th-anniversary iPhone this week, Apple also joined a bid to buy Toshiba’s memory chips business, a deal which would prevent the US tech giant from losing control of the high-end chip market to rivals and help the Japanese conglomerate avoid a stock market delisting.
Bain Capital has included Apple, Dell and other technology titans as strategic partners in a revised offer for Toshiba’s memory chip business, the US investor said in a statement on Sunday, according to The Japan Times and AFP.
It was the first time that Apple’s name has been confirmed as part of the bid, which is reportedly worth about 20 billion US dollars.
Toshiba Memory Corp, the world’s second-largest flash memory manufacturer after Samsung, supplies chips for iPhones and iPads.
Therefore, taking a stake in Toshiba’s memory chips business would ensure Apple a more reliable supply and avoid possible dependence on its archrival in smartphones, Business Insider reported.
Meanwhile, the deal is key to the survival of the cash-strapped Toshiba.
If failing to raise funds, the embattled Japanese conglomerate would have to report a second year of negative net worth, which may lead to delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Last week, Toshiba said it had picked the Bain Capital-led consortium as the leading candidate but also stressed that it was a "non-exclusive" agreement with Bain Capital and "does not exclude the possibility of negotiations with other consortia".
However, the possible deal is hampered by a lawsuit filed by Western Digital Corp, a US-based joint venture partner with Toshiba in the chips business.
As one of the suitors, Western Digital claimed Toshiba violating a contract in seeking a buyer without its consent.
Bain on Friday criticized the legal action, saying “Western Digital’s position regarding their contractual rights is over-reaching and an attempt to frustrate the legitimate efforts of Toshiba to preserve an independent Japanese Toshiba Memory company,” according to the Japan Times.