Taiwan’s Foxconn Group has offered up to 3 trillion yen (US$27 billion) for Toshiba’s computer-chip business, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
The bid by the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer is well beyond what other interested parties are offering, and is reminiscent of the strategy that Foxconn deployed last year to gain control of Sharp Corporation, the report said.
The Taiwan group’s latest bid could put the Japanese government in a tough spot, as authorities have been hoping to see a Japanese firm or a joint US-Japan team take the prized Toshiba asset.
Analysts have estimated the business’ fair value at between 1.5-2.0 trillion yen.
According to the report, the next-highest bidder after Foxconn offered about 2 trillion yen when initial bids for the business were accepted in late March.
Toshiba has said it intends to sell up to 100 percent of the chip business, which makes flash-memory chips for smartphones and computer servers.
Battered by huge cost overruns at US nuclear-reactor construction projects, Toshiba is looking to cash out assets to stay alive, the Journal noted.
Chief Executive Satoshi Tsunakawa said last month the most important factor in selecting a buyer for the chip unit was the amount of the offer, followed by the buyer’s ability to close the deal quickly.
He said he was aware that the Japanese government wanted Toshiba to pay heed to national-security concerns, but Toshiba said that criterion would come after the other two.
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