Korean electronics giant Samsung has made a US$5.85
billion hostile bid to acquire US-based computer chip maker
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.