Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group is reportedly offering up to $27bn for Toshiba’s chip manufacturing business.
Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal reported that Foxconn’s potential offer is much higher than analysts’ $18bn valuation for the business.
Preliminary bids of about ¥2 trillion ($17.98bn) or more have been submitted by South Korea’s SK Hynix and US chipmaker Broadcom.
In February, Toshiba decided to sell its flash memory chip business to save the group from the impact of a $6.23bn write-down at its US nuclear business.
Last month, the company warned that its net loss for 2016 might cross ¥1 trillion ($9bn).
Toshiba is the second largest producer of NAND flash memory, only after Samsung, with these chips being used in mobile devices.
The Japanese government wants a local firm to acquire Toshiba’s chip business, but companies had not show interest till now.
Bloomberg said Hynix is in negotiations with Japanese investors on a joint bid, in order to overcome political hurdles.
Broadcom considered joining with US private equity firm Silver Lake on a bid, but the company could instead make an offer on its own.
Japan’s chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga has said flash memory chips are ‘extremely important’ for the country’s growth strategy.
There is a concern among Japanese lawmakers that Foxconn would shift Toshiba’s manufacturing facilities to China, in addition to transferring the company’s intellectual property.
Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, last year acquired a majority stake in struggling Japanese electronics firm Sharp for $3.5bn.
Earlier this year, Toshiba chairman Shigenori Shiga resigned from his position following news that the company has logged losses in its nuclear business.
The scandal saw the company overstate financial results for several years.
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