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Apple-Backed Billionaire Makes Case to Buy Toshiba Chip Unit

Terry Gou, the billionaire behind Apple Inc.’s iPhone factories, is pressing his case to acquire Toshiba Corp.’s memory chips business for 2.1 trillion yen ($19.5 billion) in a last-ditch effort to beat out two American buyout firms in the tumultuous auction. Terry Gou, the billionaire behind Apple Inc.’s iPhone factories, is pressing his case to acquire Toshiba Corp.’s memory chips business for 2.1 trillion yen ($19.5 billion) in a last-ditch effort to beat out two American buyout firms in the tumultuous auction. Photo: Getty

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Woo also made the case that Toshiba is risking its future by delaying. Besides the risk of delisting, he said Toshiba’s chips business will fall behind if it can’t make investments quickly.

 

He specifically pointed to Samsung Electronics Co.’s announcement last month that it will invest $7 billion on a new fabrication facility in Xi’an, China, as a warning shot for Toshiba. Samsung is the largest maker of memory chips and the plant will focus on NAND flash, the core product of Toshiba’s business.

 

"You are jeopardizing your future, you are jeopardizing your competitiveness," Woo said.

 

Any successful bidder would need to stump up enough cash to repair Toshiba’s finances and make major investments in the business, the Japanese company has said. This week, it said it’s going ahead with construction on a new flash-memory plant in northern Japan while it prepares to expand its Yokkaichi semiconductor facility in the country’s west.

 

The Foxconn group consists of customers that Woo says will help create long-term, stable demand for chipsets, while the other consortiums are led by bankers who will look to cash out, he said. Apple depends on flash memory from Toshiba in its iPhones and iPods, and wants a continued supply so it’s not dependent on Samsung, a rival in the smartphone business.

 

“We are offering something that I don’t think anyone can refuse," said Woo.

 

By Courtesy of Bloomberg

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