Japan’s NHK reports Apple may be spending several billion dollars for a “substantial stake” in Toshiba’s memory chip business. The stake Apple is seeking is said to be over 20%.
Toshiba officials are now in the process of narrowing down the bidders for their profitable semiconductor business, which they have spun off this month.
But Japanese government officials have expressed concerns about Toshiba selling critical technologies to overseas buyers.
Sources say that in response, Apple would have Toshiba keep some shares so the Japanese and US firms combined, will have a majority stake.
Apple may also team up with manufacturing partner Foxconn in that firm’s bid to acquire around 30% of the chipmaker. However, both firms would have to deal with Japanese government concerns over Toshiba selling “critical technologies” to overseas buyers.
Foxconn is said to have offered Toshiba up to 3 trillion Japanese yen ($30 billion) to obtain a piece of the company, but the bid may be rejected due to Foxconn’s operations in China. Other potential buyers are said to include Amazon and Google, as well as chipmakers SK Hynix and Western Digital.
Toshiba is selling its NAND flash memory business in order to raise cash to cover costs associated with the March Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing of its U.S. nuclear subsidiary Westinghouse Electric. Toshiba is expected to select the winner of the memory chip business by June.