In the coming weeks, Toshiba will unveil a final decision concerning selling a majority stake in its lucrative memory business. Bloomberg reported this morning that iPhone manufacturer Foxconn’s preliminary bid for Toshiba’s semiconductor unit is valued at a whopping $26.93 billion. According to Bloomberg’s sources, that amount is in part to force negotiations, using a bid that’s too high to ignore.
Hon Hai Precision Industry, also known as Foxconn Technology Group, counts Apple as its key client. Foxconn assembles iPhones and their Apple contract accounts for more than half of the Taiwanese company’s earnings. Yesterday, Foxconn reported both its highest-ever holiday quarter net profit and highest-ever gross margin since first-quarter 2013.
Aside from other firms, companies like storage maker Western Digital, iPhone manufacturer Foxconn and Apple mobile chip maker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) have all been named as potential bidders seeking a stake in Toshiba’s memory business.
According to a new report in the Chinese-language Liberty Times, quoted by DigiTimes, Foxconn and TSMC are joining forces in an attempt to acquire a majority stake in Toshiba’s NAND flash business. A successful bid by the two Apple suppliers may pose a great challenge to Samsung Electronics’ leadership in the flash memory market.
Contract manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group, which assembles Apple’s iPhones and other companies’ products, is “very serious” about bidding for Toshiba’s memory chip business. Toshiba is currently Apple’s top supplier of flash memory chips. Foxconn’s founder and chairman Terry Gou said the firm cannot afford not having this technology.
Toshiba recently moved to sell some or all of its memory chip business after reporting a massive $6.3 billion loss. According to Bloomberg, Gou was present at an event in southern China to open a new $9 billion display plant.
DigiTimes said Tuesday that contract manufacturer Foxconn Electronics, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, has temporarily halted manufacturing operations at “many iPhone production lines” and shifted workers to other production facilities because shipments of iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are now past their peak level.