Another buyer is kicking Toshiba’s tyres

The state-backed fund Innovation Network of Japan is looking at the auction of Toshiba’s chip unit.

NCJ Chairman Toshiyuki Shiga said the outfit said that it did not participate in first-round bidding, but according to Reuters it might seek to invest in the business as a minority partner.

This is all part of a plan to help the government blocking a sale to bidders it deems risky to national security.

INCJ has confirmed it has set up a team to look at publicly available information regarding the deal but is not conducting due diligence and that it would be unable to bid by itself.

The auction of Toshiba’s prized chips asset is essential to the company’s plans to cover multi-billion dollar write-downs at its US nuclear unit Westinghouse.

Toshiba has narrowed the field of bidders for its chip unit to four suitors, Broadcom partnered with private equity firm Silver Lake; SK Hynix; Western Digital and Foxconn.

Broadcom has put in the highest first-round offer of $23 billion and Taiwan’s Foxconn, the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer, offered $18.37 billion.