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The Wall Street Journal

March 31, 2021, 9:41 p.m. EDT

Micron, Western Digital explore deals to buy Japanese chip maker Kioxia

Cara Lombardo, Dana Cimilluca

Micron Technology Inc. (NAS:MU)  and Western Digital Corp. (NAS:WDC)  are each exploring a potential deal for Kioxia Holdings Corp. that could value the Japanese semiconductor company at around $30 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, as a global scramble for memory chips used in smartphones and other devices heats up.

A deal for Kioxia , controlled by private-equity firm Bain Capital, isn’t guaranteed, and it isn’t clear how one might be structured. Should a deal come together, it could be finalized later this spring, some of the people said.

Also see: Micron defends ‘disciplined’ capital spending amid chip shortage

The Tokyo-based company had been  planning an initial public offering  before  shelving it in late September , citing the coronavirus pandemic and market volatility. An IPO later this year is still a possibility should the company fail to reach agreement on a deal with one of the suitors, the people said.

Kioxia, formerly part of Toshiba Corp. and known as Toshiba Memory,  was purchased in 2018  by a group led by Bain that included Apple Inc.  (NAS:AAPL) , Dell Technologies Inc. (NYS:DELL)  , Kingston Technology Co. and Seagate Technology PLC (NAS:STX) , in a deal worth around $18 billion. Toshiba Corp. (TKS:JP:6502) retained a 40% stake in the business, which was renamed Kioxia the following year.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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