WD, the hard-disk drive manufacturer that acquired SSD maker SanDisk in 2015, has marked out its turf over Toshiba's plan to sell its NAND flash division.
The two companies share ownership - via SanDisk - of a manufacturing facility in Japan, and WD has indicated that it may well veto attempts by Toshiba to sell its 50 per cent stake to certain companies.
The troubled Japanese company reportedly already has a buy-out offer on the table from WD, following recent warnings that it was unlikely to be able to survive in its current form, after failing repeatedly to file quarterly earnings, following disastrous losses in its nuclear division.
The WD issue surrounds the fabrication plant, on Japanese soil that is shared by Toshiba and Sandisk (part of WD). The ramifications, WD argues, mean that it is only fair to give them a say in what happens to Toshiba.
It has cited problems it has with all the bidders and points out that any sale would, in its eyes, represent a violation of the terms of their joint venture. It has specific issues with Singaporean-owned chip vendor and supplier to most of the world's hardware giants, Broadcom.
Broadcom is rumoured to be the highest bidder at present, but many of the big names in tech including Microsoft, Foxconn, Google and Apple are also said to be sniffing around, as a dedicated NAND foundry would improve their ability to push the latest products to market quickly.
The business has received bids estimated to be between $18bn and $28bn, with Foxcomm reportedly running the second highest bid.
But according to Forbes, there are rumours that the Japanese government may choose to take Toshiba NAND on, just to keep it out of Chinese hands amid concerns of destabilisation of Japan's share in one of the few parts of the tech sector that is expected to grow exponentially.
There's also the question of where this will leave rivals such as Micron and Samsung, which remains the biggest single manufacturer of NAND, although counting the Toshiba-WD venture as a single entity puts them almost level-pegging.
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