South Korea’s SK Hynix to buy Intel’s NAND business for $9b

FILE PHOTO: U.S. chipmaker Intel Corp's logo is seen on their "smart building" in Petah Tikva, near Tel Aviv, Israel December 15, 2019. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/File Photo

Intel Corp has agreed to sell its NAND memory chip business to SK Hynix Inc for $9 billion in an all-cash deal that would propel the South Korean chipmaker to second in the global rankings.

The deal will allow SK Hynix to overtake Japan’s Kioxia in the NAND memory market, and narrow the gap with market leader Samsung Electronics Co Ltd as the shift to work-from-home boosts demand for chips used in tablets and servers.

SK Hynix said Intel would sell all of its NAND business including its solid-state drive business, NAND product and wafer business, and its factory in Dalian, China. Intel would keep its Optane business, its advanced memory technology.

The deal would allow Intel to focus on its remaining memory business, Optane, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Intel did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

PANDEMIC-DRIVEN DEMAND

The Nand Flash industry grew in the April-to-June quarter thanks to robust demand for PCs and servers as the COVID-19 pandemic forced millions of people to work from home, according to market researcher Trendforce.

Hynix, which counts Apple Inc and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd as customers, is a distant fourth in the NAND memory chip market, although it ranks second after Samsung Electronics in DRAM memory sales.

Samsung is the leader in the NAND flash market with a 31.4% share, followed by Kioxia with 17.2%, SK Hynix with 11.7%, and Intel and Micron with 11.5% each.

With the acquisition, SK Hynix, part of South Korean conglomerate SK Group, will have a market share of 23.2%, narrowing the gap with cross-town rival Samsung Electronics.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that the deal was imminent. Intel’s shares were up nearly 3% after the report.

Reuters

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

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