Taiwan-headquartered Hon Hai Precision, better known as Foxconn, approached South Korea’s SK Hynix about joining forces to bid for the memory business of troubled Toshiba, Nikkei Asian Review reported.
While SK Hynix declined to comment, an SK Group executive suggested Foxconn did, indeed, approach the Korean chipmaker, the newspaper said.
Foxconn is the largest contract electronics maker in the world and a major supplier for Apple and other smartphone makers. Analysts say Foxconn is looking to acquire Toshiba’s advanced memory business to expand its ties with Apple, which is by far its largest customer.
SK Hynix, the second-largest maker of memory chips in the world, last month submitted a non-binding bid to acquire a 20 per cent stake in Toshiba’s memory chip business for an estimated KRW2 trillion to KRW3 trillion ($1.75 billion to $2.63 billion).
The Korean chipmaker is keen to expand its NAND flash memory business as global demand for flash memory chips soars. It announced last month it will build a NAND flash memory plant in Cheongju, South Korea for KRW2.2 trillion. The facility is expected to start production in June 2019.
Struggling Toshiba, the second-largest maker of NAND flash memory chips, now plans to sell up to 100 per cent of its memory business as it deals with more than a billion-dollar write-down from its nuclear power business in the US. Toshiba is a major supplier of memory chips to Apple. The sale of the semiconductor business could generate JPY1 trillion ($8.7 billion).
Foxconn acquired a 66 per cent stake in Japanese electronics maker Sharp for JPY389 billion a year ago.
Foxconn holds a minority stake in SK C&C, an SK Group subsidiary focusing on internet services, and a Foxconn subsidiary and SK C&C formed a joint venture providing logistics services in China, Nikkei Asian Review said.