Apple is considering investing at least several billion dollars in the chip business put up for sale by Toshiba, Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported, citing an unidentified source.
According to a new report from Reuters, citing the NHK source, Apple executives are also considering joining hands with chip manufacturer Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision, for taking a big stake in Toshiba’s semiconductor business.
“Japanese government officials have expressed concerns about Toshiba selling critical technologies to overseas buyers. Apple would have Toshiba keep some shares so the Japanese and US firms combined will have a majority stake,” NHK said.
The company is considering injecting several billion dollars to buy a more than 20% stake in a plan that would have Toshiba maintain a partial holding to keep the business under the control of Tokyo and Washington.
The offer is intended to mitigate the concerns expressed by the Japanese authorities, which believe that any transfer of sensitive technology to investors poses a risk to the country’s national security.
These concerns were raised in regard to Foxconn’s participation in the auction, because of the company’s links to China. It is noteworthy that a large amount of Apple’s iPhones are produced at Foxconn’s enterprise there.
The investment, of course, is still a big “if.” Toshiba could accept a lower bid from a Japanese company, and Japanese regulators could block an Apple and Foxconn buyout. Right now it’s a race for Toshiba to make a deal come together before its financial losses make the entire company implode.