Apple could be about to sell back its stake in Toshiba Memory less than a year after acquiring it.
A new report claims Toshiba plans to buy back the shares it sold to Apple, Dell, Kingston, and Seagate after securing billions in loans from Japanese banks. It’s thought Toshiba later plans to become a public company.
Apple joined the consortium to acquire a massive stake in Toshiba Memory last June. All four of the companies involved are Toshiba customers. The deal was initially put together to prevent a takeover from Western Digital.
That takeover would have reduced market competition and likely led to an increase in Toshiba memory prices. But less than a year later, Toshiba is ready to buy back its business.
Apple has made a nice profit
Toshiba has negotiated $11.8 billion in loans from Japanese banks to buy back the shares it sold off, according to The Wall Street Journal. It is enough to provide all companies in the consortium with hundreds of millions of dollars in profit.
Once Toshiba regains complete control of its memory business, which is expected to happen by the end of May, it is thought it will become publicly listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Apple uses Toshiba flash storage chips in almost all of its devices, including the iPhone and the iPad. Without competitive memory pricing, those devices could become even more expensive — especially for higher storage tiers.