Rumors are going around that Taiwanese foundry TSMC could be one of the parties interested in buying a stake in Toshiba's semiconductor unit. As you may know, Toshiba is now looking to sell a majority stake in its semiconductor unit because the company needs a lot of cash to fix serious balance issues incurred by its nuclear division.
DigiTimes writes TSMC is interested in expanding into the 3D NAND flash market and wants to persuade Toshiba to set up a 3D NAND plant in Taiwan. The site claims TSMC would be a good fit for Toshiba:
The sources identify TSMC as one of Toshiba's preferred bidders, as the foundry meets conditions such as not being involved in the manufacture of NAND flash chips, and not needing government funds to make the stake investment. It is also impossible for TSMC to steal Toshiba's patented memory technology and IP, or to take the new company's ownership and management rights, the sources indicated.
In addition, TSMC could be Toshiba's best production partner, as the foundry will help Toshiba expand its business in the 3D NAND field, the sources said. The partnership between TSMC and Toshiba could also pose a challenge to the longtime industry leader Samsung, which usually has sufficient profits generated from its memory business to subsidize its logic IC unit, the sources noted.
Other rumored bidders include Apple, Foxconn, Micron, Microsoft, SK Hynix, Western Digital and a couple of private equity funds.