Korean electronics giant Samsung has made a US$5.85 billion hostile bid to acquire US-based computer chip maker SanDisk.
In a letter to SanDisk's board, Samsung wrote it was "deeply disappointed" the pair had been unable to come to an agreement about a merger after four months of meetings in Seoul and San Francisco. SanDisk immediately rejected the offer, saying it didn't value its operations fairly and was an "opportunistic attempt" to take advantage of SanDisk's current share price.
SanDisk added the offer could just be a "calculated negotiating ploy" or an attempt to gain leverage in ongoing licensing agreements between the pair.
Now that Samsung has put SanDisk in play, the possibility exists that other cashed-up would-be acquirers could begin sniffing around. Speculation overnight in the US centred on Toshiba, which operates a manufacturing plant with SanDisk.
What's more, the executive in charge of Toshiba's semiconductor business said the company may make a move in order to prevent a rival from controlling SanDisk. "We need to take preventive steps, if (SanDisk) looks like it'll be acquired," corporate senior vice president Shozo Saito told reporters at the Industry Strategy and Technology Forum in Yokohama, Japan.
It's unclear whether he was sending out a message of real intent or simply playing to the microphones. While Saito said that Toshiba "was interested" he said there were no talks with SanDisk about a possible acquisition.
CNET News.com's Charles Cooper contributed to this story.