May 16, 2017 6:20 am JST

Sharp may buy 20% of Toshiba's memory unit

Bid with parent Foxconn could temper concerns over tech secrets

OSAKA -- Sharp is seeking a stake in Toshiba's memory business up to roughly 20% in a joint bid with its Taiwanese parent Hon Hai Precision Industry, it was learned Monday.

Hon Hai, the iPhone assembler known as Foxconn, has faced concerns from the Japanese government and elsewhere that a foreign purchase of the memory unit will lead to technological secrets finding their way to rivals in China or Taiwan. Sharp, a Japanese electronics giant, will lend its name to help overcome the barrier.

Sharp is looking to purchase around 10-20% of Toshiba's memory operation. Foxconn is also sounding out Apple and other U.S. companies into making investments as well. The Taiwanese group is also apparently considering a scenario where Toshiba keeps a partial stake in the unit.

Foxconn is forming a corporate alliance that centers on Japan and stretches to Taiwan and the U.S. That way it will minimize the risks of running afoul of Japanese law restricting cross-border outflows of technology related to national security. But it is still uncertain if Foxconn will sail through such a screening.

A successful purchase of Toshiba's memory business would give legs to a chipmaking plant Foxconn is thinking about building in the U.S. Meanwhile, Sharp sees memory forming the core of the "internet of things" business. The Japanese company also aims to secure a technological development tie-up and a stable supply source through this purchase.

(Nikkei)

Sharp Corp.

Japan

Market(Ticker): TKS(6753)
Sector:
Industry:
Consumer Durables
Electronics/Appliances
Market cap(USD): 17,884.59M
Shares: 4,994.52M

Toshiba Corp.

Japan

Market(Ticker): TKS(6502)
Sector:
Industry:
Consumer Durables
Electronics/Appliances
Market cap(USD): 10,799.76M
Shares: 4,237.60M

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