Apple joins last-ditch bid for Toshiba’s chip division

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Toshiba
Toshiba is ready to go public.
Photo: Toshiba

Acquiring Toshiba’s chip-making business could still be in play for Apple after all, even though the company’s previous attempts to secure the coveted division with Foxconn fell through.

According to a new report, Apple is part of a “last-ditch” bid to acquire Toshiba’s chip-making ability along with Bain Capital and a few other players. If successful, the acquisition could give Apple a serious weapon in its battle with Samsung for smartphone supremacy.

Apple’s joint bid as part of a consortium with Bain Capital comes after Western Digital Corp has failed to strike a deal for Toshiba’s chip business, reports Reuters. The two sides were supposed to finish negotiations by Thursday, August 31. But with the deadline quickly approaching, it appears outsiders may still have a chance to swoop in and nab it.

Taking a bite out of Toshiba

Toshiba is trying to sell its chip-making division as a way to cover losses for its failing U.S. nuclear business Westinghouse. Foxconn partnered with Apple to offer $27 billion for the company earlier this year. That bid fell through because Japanese regulators were worried that the deal would give highly valuable technical know how to China.

Joining Apple and Bain Capital’s bid worth 2 trillion yen ($18.2 billion) is South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix. Bain and SK Hynix will reportedly chip in 1.1 trillion yen while Apple invests 400 billion yen. Japanese banks will cover the other 600 billion yen to help the company stay in the country. Toshiba will also contribute 200 billion yen in the proposal.

Western Digital’s bid is only worth 1.9 billion yen. Should it fall through, it’s hard to see why Toshiba wouldn’t jump on the bid from Bain and Apple.