April 21, 2017 6:35 am JST

SK Hynix chief to meet with Toshiba about memory unit sale

South Korean chipmaker looks to boost bid with personal touch

KENICHI YAMADA, Nikkei staff writer

SEOUL -- SK Hynix's chairman will meet with Toshiba's board in Japan within days to discuss a bid for the Japanese company's memory unit, seeking to demonstrate good faith via a personal visit.

As the head of SK Group, South Korea's third-largest conglomerate, and a member of its founding family, Chey Tae-won  has full authority to negotiate big acquisitions. He is believed to be planning to travel to Japan around Monday. If so, he likely will become the first Toshiba Memory suitor to visit the parent since the first bidding round last month.

Though SK Hynix collaborates with Toshiba on developing next-generation chipmaking technologies, the company believes there is resistance from the Japanese side to an offer from a Korean company. It hopes to win over Toshiba with plans to invest in and retain jobs at Toshiba's mainstay chip fabrication base in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture.

SK Hynix is exploring the possibility of teaming with U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital for the second bidding round. It is also reportedly interested in partnering with the public-private Innovation Network Corp. of Japan.

Chey may get in touch with Japanese government officials as well. The sale "involves security and diplomatic issues in Japan and the U.S.," an SK source said.

Toshiba Corp.

Japan

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