It looks like SanDisk and Toshiba could both be targets of a take over by the Chinese state-owned Tsinghua Unigroup, according to industry sources. SanDisk and Toshiba currently jointly create NAND flash technology, though each company currently sits on shaky ground as far as financials are concerned. In addition to that, a subsidiary of the Tsinghua Unigroup is about to acquire a 15% stake in Western Digital.
It seems that China’s current ambitions lie in establishing a homegrown industry for NAND flash memory technology and storage devices. The next step is breaking in to the DRAM market, with plans to make an equity investment in Micron Technology, according to a DigiTimes report.
There would be difficulties in trying to partner with the US-based Micron Technology for NAND flash as the company does not own its memory process technologies, which is why Toshiba and SanDisk are being looked at to fill in that side of things.
Initially, there were plans to fully acquire Micron Technology for $23 billion but the US government stepped in and shut the deal down due to national security concerns. However, by acquiring Toshiba or SanDisk, Tsinghua Unigroup will gain access to the entire company portfolio, which will raise China’s self-sufficiency rate for ICs, according to the source.
KitGuru Says: Toshiba actually owns a lot of the nuclear plant technology in use in Japan, so Tsinghua Unigroup could have a bit of a fight on its hands if it wants to fully acquire the company. It may have an easier time picking up SanDisk though.