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Business deals

Intel nears deal to sell NAND memory unit to SK Hynix

South Korean chipmaker seen paying $10 billion for flash business

SK Hynix's headquarters in Seongnam, South Korea.   © Reuters

Intel Corp. is nearing a deal to sell a memory-chip unit to South Korea's SK Hynix Inc. for roughly $10 billion, in a move that would reorient the semiconductor giant away from an area of historical importance that's become increasingly challenged.

The companies are discussing a deal that could be announced as soon as Monday, according to people familiar with the matter, assuming the talks don't fall apart at the last minute. Specifics of the transaction, including exactly what SK Hynix would be buying, couldn't be learned.

The unit makes NAND flash memory products primarily used in devices such as hard drives, thumb drives and cameras. Intel has been weighing getting out of the business for some time, driven by sagging prices for flash memory.

While Intel is best known for making the central processing units at the heart of personal computers, the company has deep roots in the memory business. It started as a memory manufacturer in the late 1960s before stiff competition from Japan's burgeoning electronics industry in the 1980s led it to change course.

(Dow Jones)

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