Toshiba Corp. on July 11 had a meeting with its main banks about the negotiation of the sale of its semiconductor memory business with the Japan-US-South Korea ally led by Innovation Network Corp. of Japan (INCJ). The top management of Toshiba explained the negotiation is stalemated because the ally has a difficulty on the roles of SK Hynix of South Korea, which seems to have a stronger interest in NAND type flash memory technology than the other have earlier expected because SK is behind Samsumg in the mass production for NAND memory while it has know-how in DRAM production, which lacks in Toshiba and thinks the company has a merit to join the ally and commit to Toshiba Memory’s production more aggressively. Toshiba revealed it has started to negotiate again with Western Digital and Hon Hai Precision. WD has proposed the acquisition by allying with U.S. fund Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR & Co.), INCJ and Development Bank of Japan. Toshiba wants to decide the sale of Toshiba Memory by the end of March, 2018 in order to have excessive liabilities two years in a row which is to lead to the company going private.
Reports suggest that Samsung Electronics will be investing approximately 2 trillion yen by 2021 in order to boost the flash memory production, at its factories in Korea. Samsung intends to secure the top position in the flash memory segment, while Toshiba is still in the process of selling its flash memory business unit— Toshiba Memory. Samsung will be investing in new product lines including its latest NAND type flash memory. The company's production capacity is expected to grow twice by 2021 with this additional investment. According to Research company, IHS Technology, in 2016, Samsung grabbed the top share in the flash memory market with 35.2%, followed by Toshiba 19.3%, Western Digital 15.5%, Micron Technology 12.0%, SK Hynix 10.1% and Intel 6.9% in terms of value.
Nikon Corp. will be boosting the production of its of display panels for smartphones and televisions in its factories in Japan. The company has decided to thrust the production as its competition in China and other Asian countries are aggressively investing in the development of high resolution LCD panels and OLED panels. The company has established additional production facilities in the premise of its existing . factories located in Tochigi and Miyagi Prefectures. Nikon has already increased the production capacity for its small-size panels (for smartphone) by 1.5x over those of 2015 and the production is being carried out at full swing. For large panels (for televisions), Nikon will increase the production 2x by 2018. Nikon currently enjoys about 65 percent of the world's share in panel manufacturing equipment. Nikon utilises the 10th generation size plates for manufacturing the large-format panels. Panel producers, Chinese companies in particular, are planning to build large-panel production factories, for which they are aggressively approaching the government to grant them subsidiaries.