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SK Hynix, Hon Hai camps add to offers for Toshiba chip unit

Reuters file photo

Used memory chips by Toshiba are seen at an electronics shop in Tokyo on Nov. 9, 2010.

Jiji PressTOKYO (Jiji Press) — A Japanese-U.S.-South Korean consortium including South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc., and a group led by Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. have made additional proposals in their respective bids for Toshiba Corp.’s flash memory unit, ahead of a Toshiba board meeting on Wednesday, informed sources have said.

The moves come as a team including U.S. hard disk drive maker Western Digital Corp. is currently viewed as leading the bidding race.

On top of its earlier offer to buy Toshiba Memory Corp. for about ¥2 trillion, the SK Hynix consortium informed the Toshiba side of its readiness to shoulder several hundred billion yen in costs for the introduction of equipment to make cutting-edge memory chips, as well as for research and development, according to the sources.

The consortium’s overall investment is now expected to reach about ¥2.4 trillion, a level high enough to allow Toshiba Memory to compete with South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s largest memory producer in terms of sales, one source said.

Meanwhile, the Hon Hai camp has proposed raising the planned stake of Sharp Corp., owned by Hon Hai, in the Toshiba unit from 10 percent to 15 percent, so that its Japanese members, also including SoftBank Group Corp., would have a joint stake of around 35 percent, more than the Taiwan firm’s planned stake of 25 percent.

The revision appears to be aimed at gaining support from the Japanese government, which is eager to prevent the leaks of Toshiba’s flash memory technology overseas and maintain domestic jobs. Toshiba has notified its main creditor banks that it intends to decide the buyer of the chip unit on Wednesday.Speech

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