One of the most complicated, potentially costliest tech business deals in recent memory is still far from completed, though one interested bidder continues to aggressively push for a happy, mutually beneficial ending using its impressive industry connections and friendships.
Forget semiconductor giant TSMC, as contract electronics manufacturer Foxconn has just confirmed it’s partnering with none other than Apple and Amazon to put as much money as Toshiba wants on the negotiating table for the Japanese multinational conglomerate’s successful memory chip business.
Toshiba, remember, is in deep financial trouble following the recent bankruptcy of its Westinghouse nuclear construction subsidiary, as well as past accounting scandals, PC-making missteps, failed mergers and so on, looking to survive basically by offloading its one remaining profitable division.
Valued at more than $18 billion, this NAND flash memory, aka storage chip operation, is essential for the future development of iPhones and Amazon data centers, which explains the involvement of the two mammoth American corporations in Foxconn’s proposed acquisition.
The Taiwanese ODM (Original Design Manufacturer) isn’t willing to break down the numbers for the media yet, with its Chairman and President, Terry Gou, stressing that “of course Apple and Amazon are offering money together, but I cannot comment on how much funds each company” is chipping in.
You have to figure this incredible trio could outbid the likes of Broadcom, Western Digital, SK Hynix and US private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts to the moon and back, but there’s still the issue of Japanese regulatory approval.
The local government doesn’t want Toshiba’s advanced technology to leave the country, which Gou says will never happen, offering up the example of Sharp. The LCD panel specialist was acquired by Foxconn last year and left largely unchanged in its day-to-day running after a healthy capital infusion.