[THE INVESTOR] SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won has confirmed that renegotiating the delayed acquisition of Toshiba’s memory chip unit is not an option, saying that he expects the deal to gather momentum soon.
“SK is not considering renegotiating the deal,” the chairman told reporters at a conference on April 19 in Seoul. “(The issue of the delayed Toshiba deal) will soon be addressed.”
Joining a group of global investment and technology companies including Bain Capital, Apple and Dell, SK Group participated in the bid to take over the NAND memory chip unit of cash-strapped Toshiba last year.
Last September, the Japanese tech giant signed a memorandum of understanding with the Bain-led consortium to sell the NAND flash memory unit for US$18 billion in a bid to make up for financial losses made by its now-bankrupt US nuclear power company Westinghouse Electric.
The acquisition process, however, has been postponed as investors have yet to win approval from the Chinese antitrust authorities, who have reportedly expressed concerns over the impact the deal could have on the global chip industry.
Some market watchers speculated the Chinese government, aiming to nurture its domestic electronic components industries, is trying to block the deal to protect the domestic chip industry.
SK Group’s chip business arm SK hynix, the No. 2 DRAM maker in the world in terms of market share, is ranked fourth in the NAND memory chip segment while Toshiba is the No. 2 NAND flash memory firm after Samsung Electronics.
The consortium requested eight global antitrust bodies for approval of the acquisition. European and US authorities are among those have given a green light to the deal.
Chey also said the postponement has nothing to do with the trade conflict between the US and China, contrary to claims the Chinese authorities have been intentionally opposing the deal amid the escalating tension between the world’s two largest economies over trade matters.
Some market watchers speculated that Toshiba could try to proceed with an initial public offering in case the acquisition deal misses the March 31 deadline, the fiscal year-end for the Japanese firm.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)