Google is interested in buying Toshiba's NAND flash memory unit, according to a report from The Investor. Industry sources claim the Mountain View-based tech giant joined the race to buy the profitable memory division that the Japanese tech giant is looking to sell amidst financial troubles. Apart from the Alphabet-owned company, Amazon and Apple have also reportedly joined the list of Toshiba's suitors that's currently over ten names strong, the Tokyo-based company revealed during a shareholder meeting on Thursday at which its investors approved the sale. Other parties interested in acquiring Toshiba's memory division include Broadcom, SK Hynix, and Western Digital, industry insiders previously claimed.
The Investor speculates that Google and Amazon are interested in buying Toshiba's unit as a NAND flash memory manufacturing operation would give them the ability to make their own data servers. As both U.S. tech giants are already buying massive volumes of data servers, such an investment would likely save them money in the long run, in addition to providing them with an additional source of revenue in a likely case they decide to continue supplying third-party device manufacturers with components like Toshiba currently is. Apple's reasoning for a potential acquisition is similar, as the Cupertino-based tech giant is currently buying large volumes of memory chips for its iPhone handsets from both Toshiba and Samsung.
Industry analysts believe Western Digital is currently the most likely buyer of Toshiba's memory unit as the two companies have a history of close cooperation that resulted in them collaborating on operating Toshiba's main memory production facility in Yōkaichi, Japan. While SK Hynix stands to overtake Samsung and become the largest NAND flash memory manufacturer in the world if it manages to acquire Toshiba's unit, that likely won't happen seeing how the company's cash reserves don't come close to the $18 billion estimate that industry analysts believe the deal will cost. Regardless of which company ends up acquiring Toshiba's business, it remains to be seen whether the sale will prove to be a wise move for the Japanese tech giant in the long term. While the company's financial struggles caused by its nuclear business in the U.S. forced it to liquidate some of its assets, the unit it's now actively trying to sell is also its key source of revenue.