Toshiba, Intel implicated in Elpida bidding war

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Toshiba, which has recently been involved in dealings with Western Digital to acquire part of the latter’s HDD manufacturing facilities in Thailand, is reported to have taken a shining to bankrupt DRAM maker Elpida. Elpida, which had filed for bankruptcy late last month after public officials announced they would not risk a bailout loan for

Toshiba, which has recently been involved in dealings with Western Digital to acquire part of the latter’s HDD manufacturing facilities in Thailand, is reported to have taken a shining to bankrupt DRAM maker Elpida.

Elpida, which had filed for bankruptcy late last month after public officials announced they would not risk a bailout loan for the ailing DRAM maker, has made it clear it will seek a way out of bankruptcy and not dodge noisy creditors. This exit strategy would involve taking on investment from another company or group.

According to the Nikkei, Toshiba – currently ranked as the second largest Flash memory producer in the world – would take a stake in the company. So far the only company to demonstrate a public interest in Elpida has been its US rival Micron. The news outlet also suggests that other semi companies – singling out Intel – would be interested in taking ownership of Elpida. This would, however, be uncharacteristic of Intel, which has relied on its long-time partner Micron to develop SSD and hybrids for its computing platforms, but if true, could signal a change in direction for the Numero Uno CPU maker.

Elpida is a leading low-power DRAM manufacturer. The kind of memory that is used in mobile phones and tablets – as booming a business as you can imagine these days. The purchase of Elpida by  Toshiba, Micron, or Intel would boost  their IP and product portfolios significantly. Neither Toshiba nor Intel manufacture DRAM, the former having exited the market in 2002.

Time is running out for Elpida. It must come to a successful negotiation with any of its would-be investors by the end of April, otherwise the decision will be forced by the government’s hand and will, in all likelihood, benefit the home team.