OSAKA - Sharp Corp. is considering to invest in embattled Toshiba Corp.'s memory chip business jointly with its parent company Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., a company executive said Wednesday.
By teaming up with the Japanese electronics firm, Hon Hai, the Taiwan-based main assembler of Apple Inc.'s iPhones, is apparently hoping to keep the Japanese government from blocking the deal out of fear that a sale of Toshiba Memory Corp. to a foreign company could undermine national security.
The Sharp executive told reporters Wednesday that while the chip industry is vulnerable to swings in demand, the chip business can be an important asset in the age of the Internet of Things.
Toshiba is seeking to sell a majority stake in Toshiba Memory, which it established by spinning off its chip division in an effort to raise cash following huge losses at U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse Electric Co. Toshiba closed the first round of bidding for the chip company late last month and is likely to select the winning bid around July.
No Japanese entities have participated in the bidding.
Hon Hai has submitted the highest bid of nearly 3 trillion yen for Toshiba Memory, sources close to the matter said earlier.
The Taiwanese company has also asked for the cooperation of SoftBank Group Corp. and Apple in its bid to acquire the chip unit.
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