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Foxconn's Chairman Reportedly Seeks Out SoftBank's Assistance in Bid to Acquire Toshiba

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Earlier this morning Patently Apple posted a report titled "Japanese Public Broadcaster NHK Claims that Apple may be Joining Foxconn's Bid for Toshiba." At the end of the report I added: "Should Apple not be a part of the deal, Foxconn could always get needed funding from Japanese partner Softbank via it's technology fund that both Foxconn and Apple have invested in. The connection to Japan's Softbank could be the key to a deal for the Foxconn bid. Remember that Foxconn and Softbank have a joint venture for designing ARM chips and so having Toshiba would be a nice fit for both Foxconn and Softbank" Now the Nikkei is reporting that Foxconn is seeking SoftBank's assistance in their bid for Toshiba's chip unit.


The Nikkei has learned that Taiwanese contract manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry, also known as Foxconn, has asked for help from Japanese telecommunications giant SoftBank Group in its bid to acquire Toshiba's memory business. 


With SoftBank's backing, Foxconn is preparing to begin negotiations with Japanese banks and related companies over the deal. There is also talk that Foxconn, a major iPhone assembler, may partner with Apple for the bid.


When Foxconn acquired Japanese electronics powerhouse Sharp in spring 2016, SoftBank's chairman Masayoshi Son introduced the Foxconn's Terry Gou to Japanese banks. Son's assistance in the Toshiba bid is expected to come in a similar form -- through his assurances rather than money. For more on this, read the Nikkei report here.


In December Patently Apple posted a report titled "Sharp's Terry Gou Deliberately Drops Samsung as a Customer & Sends Samsung into a Panic." At the time the Taiwan press reported that Foxconn had declared war against Samsung. Samsung did in fact panic at Foxconn's decisive move and actually ate crow by  making a deal with arch rival LG to supply them with LCD's that Foxconn denied them.


If Foxconn were to acquire Toshiba it could mean gaining Apple's memory business and delivering another blow to Samsung. Such a scenario would have many in the Apple community applauding Foxconn's Chairman Gou.


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