The latest reports from Reuters reveal that the interest in Toshiba's chip business isn't letting up anytime soon. In an exclusive interview with Foxconn CEO Terry Gou, it was revealed that Apple and Dell are in discussions with him about a consortium bid for the company.
The sale follows large losses for Toshiba following the bankruptcy of its Westinghouse Electric Corp subsidiary. Gou also reports talks with Google, Microsoft, and Cisco about their participation. It's unclear how much the companies will invest, or if some will join at all.
However, Gou says talks with Apple are going very well.
“I can tell you Apple is in for sure,” he explained, the offer seemingly approved by CEO Tim Cook and the board of directors. The total size is allegedly very close to other bidders. Previous information suggests a Foxconn bid for $27 billion, though that sum has not been confirmed.
Bypassing Chinese Ties
The consortium would have another advantage. Foxconn has faced significant trouble in its bid due to its deep ties with China. Sources report that the Japanese government is looking to block any deal that will take the valuable business outside of its company.
The Foxconn led consortium would contain no Chinese capital, potentially making it more viable. Gou says Foxconn would have a stake of under 40%, and presence from several other companies should further allay anti-trust concerns.
No information is yet available on Microsoft's position on the offer, though it wouldn't be completely out of character. The Redmond giant has joined several consortiums in the past, and the purchase could be beneficial to its hardware business.
It's worth noting, however, that the consortium faces start opposition from Western Digital. The company previously claimed that it should receive exclusive negotiating rights due to a joint venture contract. The latest information suggests that WD has managed to scrape together $18 billion with funding from a state-backed fund.
Furthermore, sources say a separate offer from the U.S's Broadcom Ltd and Silver Lake sits at $19 billion.
Whatever the outcome, the ordeal has been positive for Toshiba. Though its shares are still down a total of 26% since December, the news on Monday resulted in a 9% rise. The company is set to reveal its preference soon, and the winner on June 15th.