Apple’s most important manufacturing parter is getting ready to make a huge investment that could make it one of the world’s biggest chipmakers.
The Japanese government is hoping Toshiba will sell itself to a domestic company, but Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industries (aka Foxconn) is preparing to make a huge offer for the company that could shake up the tech world.
Foxconn’s bid could come in as high as $27 billion, according to a report from Bloomberg. Broadcom and South Korea-based SK Hynix have also supposedly sent preliminary bids for Toshiba’s business.
No Japanese buyer has yet to surface. Toshiba could seek a bailout where multiple domestic companies toss in a small amount of capital to prop it up. A spokesperson for Fujifilm told Bloomberg it is considering participating in such a bailout once the investment framework is more clear.
Japan’s top concern is that the company will transfer Toshiba’s intellectual property to China — along with a bunch of manufacturing jobs.
Toshiba struggled with many financial problems over the last few years. Its Westinghouse nuclear division suffered billions in losses. The company maintains more than 600 divisions, but its flash memory chip business remains its most valuable asset.
Foxconn scooping up Toshiba’s chip-making powers would give the Taiwanese powerhouse an even stronger foothold in the smartphone market. It is Apple’s top assembler, and recently purchased a controlling stake in iPhone display manufacturer Sharp.