A Western Digital office building is shown in Irvine, California, U.S., January 24, 2017.
The Taiwanese company, known as Foxconn Technology Group, apparently believes that the participation of Sharp into its bid will help alleviate concerns in Japan about a possible outflow of sensitive technologies overseas, sources familiar with the situation said.
As part of the Japanese government and financial establishment's anti-China/Taiwan meddling, Toshiyuki Shiga, the chairman of Innovation Network Corp of Japan (INCJ) - a partnership between the Japanese government and 19 major corporations - has said they are considering taking part in the second round of bids as a minority party to some other bidder.
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Toshiba is selling the memory business, which it this month spun off as a separate unit, to help cover billions of dollar in write-downs from its USA nuclear unit Westinghouse Electric Co, which filed for U.S. bankruptcy protection from creditors last month.
The other bidders are South Korea's SK Hynix and USA chipmaker Western Digital Corp, which has a joint venture in Japan with Toshiba's chip unit.
South Korea's SK Hynix, US chipmaker Western Digital Corp, Broadcom-Silver Lake Partners consortium have also submitted preliminary bids of around ¥2 trillion ($17.98 billion) or more, according to media reports.
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"Because of our flexibility and the different ways we can participate, our lawyers are very confident that we can address any trust risks in a way that would help get cash to Toshiba very quickly and then allow enough time for any antitrust review as necessary", he said.
Therefore acquiring Toshiba's business, would give either company priority to getting memory supply needed for their products.
Western Digital wrote to Toshiba on April 9 saying the transfer of the chip venture's rights to a new chip unit, which was split off recently without the USA firm's consent, violated their joint venture agreements.
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Toshiba Flash foundry partner Western Digital says the leading bidders are over-valuing the business and, anyway, the joint venture terms it has with Toshiba say it has to agree to any sale, and so it wants exclusive talks.