Taipei--Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (??) will be joined by U.S. high-tech giants Apple Inc. and Amazon in its bid for the semiconductor business of Toshiba Corp. of Japan, its chairman said in a newspaper interview Monday.
"Of course Apple and Amazon are offering money together, but I cannot comment on how much funds each company is putting on the table," Hon Hai Chairman Terry Gou (???) said in an interview in the Japanese Nikkei Asian Review.
Hon Hai, also known as Foxconn in the global market, has been bidding aggressively for Toshiba Memory, which was put up for sale in February to cover the losses of Toshiba's nuclear energy business in the U.S. market.
Apple and Amazon reportedly had been bidding separately for Toshiba Memory but Gou said in the newspaper interview that they will now join the bid made by Hon Hai, which assembles iPads and iPhones for Apple.
Among the five bidders for Toshiba Memory so far, Hon Hai has made the highest offer of around 2 trillion yen (US$18.2 billion) and has entered the second round of the bidding, according to the newspaper report.
In the interview, Gou said Hon Hai would be able to offer recommendations on how to build the right memory components for future gadgets, based on its solid experience in smartphone and server production.
"We really hope to help Toshiba design better products in the future," he said.
According to the paper, there have been rising concerns that Toshiba's sophisticated memory chip technology may be leaked to China if its semiconductor business is sold to Hon Hai, a contract manufacturer with sprawling production facilities in China.
However, in the interview, Gou said such fears were unfounded.
"Since Foxconn was first founded all those years ago, I have been building the business with my own money and accumulating my own funds, and then I have been investing with my own profits," he said. I have never taken a dime (from others)."
He also said Hon Hai will guarantee bank loans for Toshiba Memory and will not dispose of the company simply for profit, if its acquisition bid succeeds.
"We let Japanese (managers) run Sharp ... we are also hoping that Toshiba's memory unit will survive into the next 50 to 100 years at least, like Sharp.," Gou said in the interview.
He was referring to Hon Hai's handling of Sharp since acquiring a majority stake in the Japanese company last August.
Sharp and Hon Hai are planning to set up a semiconductor plant in the United States, once the bid for Toshiba Memory succeeds, another Japanese newspaper Kyodo News said in May, citing unnamed sources within Sharp.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel