The long-running saga of the sale of Toshiba’s chip division appears to be finally drawing to a close. It’s today reported that Toshiba has now ended negotiations with two of the three competing bidders, leaving only the one led by Bain Capital …

The WSJ reports that it’s not quite a done deal, but that the outcome now appears inevitable.

Toshiba decided Wednesday to sell its chip business to a group that includes Apple and Dell, a person familiar with the matter said, although the parties have yet to reach a final agreement and opposition to the deal remains. The bidding group is led by U.S. private-equity firm Bain Capital.

Toshiba’s chip division is an important strategic purchase because it is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of NAND chips, a component in which there is currently a world shortage. That shortage is believed to explain Apple’s recent decision to increase the price of higher-capacity iPad Pro models.

Apple was keen to protect its supply of the chips by taking a stake in the Toshiba business, reportedly participating in all three bids to ensure its share no matter which one succeeded. It was said to be in talks to contribute $3B to the Bain bid, giving it around a 16% stake. While not a controlling interest, that – coupled to the volume of its orders – would put the company in a strong negotiating position when it came to securing NAND chips.

No official decision has been announced, however, and Western Digital maintains that its pre-existing partnership with Toshiba gives it the right to block the sale, a claim which the chipmaker disputes.


Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.


Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Ben Lovejoy's favorite gear