Apple Inc. (AAPL) Reportedly Holding Up Toshiba Chip Unit Deal


Reports that Apple has agreed to join the Bain-led bid come after Bloomberg had earlier this week suggested that rival private-equity bidder KKR had tried to persuade the company to join its consortium with disk drive giant Western Digital.

SK Hynix will invest a total of 4 trillion won (US$3.6 billion) in Toshiba Memory in Japan.

Meanwhile, Japan's Hoya Corp, a medical technology firm that also makes parts for chip devices, has been roped in to ensure that the unit remains in majority Japanese ownership.

While we wait to hear that Apple has officially negotiated favorable terms that will allow them to get onboard this deal, today we learn that SK hynix has made a decision to invest 4 trillion won (US$3.5 billion) for the purchase of Toshiba's NAND business unit worth 20 trillion won by a Korea-US-Japan consortium.

In a statement, SK hynix, a member of the consortium, said its participation in the acquision deal can potentially lay the foundation for it to get ahead in the NAND flash business.

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SK hynix said it is investing 1.3 trillion won of the total funding as convertible bonds that can be used for it to acquire up to 15 percent stake in the Toshiba unit. In addition, forming the strategic consortium with multinational corporations may bring SK Hynix an opportunity to cooperate with companies that will lead the fourth industrial revolution.

However, since it usually takes more than a year for the International Arbitration Court to arrive at a conclusion for arbitration, WD made a decision to seek an injunction which can put a quick brake on the sell-off of Toshiba Memory.

Western Digital has initiated three arbitrations against Toshiba in the matter, most recently last week when it ask the International Chamber of Commerce arbitration court to block Toshiba Memory from going to alone in investing for new equipment for NAND fabs. It contends that any transfer of Toshiba's memory operations without its consent would violate joint venture agreements. It is noted that even if the deal gets done right away, regulatory reviews often take six months which doesn't leave a whole lot of breathing space before that March window slams shut.

Earlier, on September 20, Toshiba chose to sell off its memory business to the Korea-US-Japan Alliance led by US Bain Capital.