Apple hedges bets on Toshiba, getting 20% stake in either Bain or Foxconn bids

In what’s beginning to feel like the world’s longest-running takeover battle, Foxconn has been pressing the case for its own bid for Toshiba’s chip division. It faces competition from two rival bids, from KKR and Bain Capital …

Apple now appears to be hedging its bets, participating in two of the three bids – one of which seems likely to win out over KKR.

While none of those involved have disclosed the exact amount of any of the bids, it’s reported that the KKR consortium is in third place, with a bid or around 2 trillion yen ($19B) while Bain has offered a little more, and Foxconn more still.

It was reported back in April that Apple would be part of Foxconn’s bid, seeking at least a 20% stake, and Bloomberg reports that Foxconn has now confirmed this.

Foxconn spokesman Louis Woo detailed the proposed ownership to make the case it is not a Chinese or even Taiwanese bid. Foxconn would hold 25 percent of the equity, Apple 20 percent, Kingston Technology Co. 20 percent, Sharp 15 percent, SoftBank 10 percent and Toshiba would keep 10 percent, he said.

Foxconn has provided the breakdown of the consortium in order to allay Japanese government fears of a Chinese takeover, which it saw as putting Toshiba’s intellectual property at risk.

Apple had always been named as part of the rival Bain bid, with numbers also suggesting a share of around 20%.

With Apple products creating huge demand for both NAND and RAM chips, and the company already more dependant on Samsung than it would like, a stake in a major chip manufacturer would provide comfort at a time of worldwide component shortages.

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