Report: Toshiba in talks to buy SanDisk's JV share

Toshiba is in talks to buy SanDisk's chipmaking facilities in Japan, according to Japan-based reports.

Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
Brooke Crothers

Toshiba is in talks to buy SanDisk's chipmaking facilities, according to Japan-based reports.

Currently, Toshiba and SanDisk jointly own flash memory manufacturing facilities in Mie Prefecture, Japan.

SanDisk is the largest supplier of retail flash drives in the U.S.

Toshiba has started negotiations to buy SanDisk's portion of the facilities, according to Nikkei. The newspaper said this is in response to Samsung's bid to buy SanDisk that was disclosed last month.

Toshiba and SanDisk have two joint ventures that manufacture NAND flash memory. SanDisk has a 49.9 percent interest in each of the ventures and also funds R&D related to the ventures.

Last month, SanDisk rejected a buyout offer from Samsung. The Milpitas, Calif.-based company has been caught in a brutal downward spiral of flash memory prices and is a laggard in the growing market for solid-state drives--where Samsung is currently the leader.

As SanDisk's profits have been squeezed, its stock has plunged more than $60 per share during the past two years.

All this makes for a vulnerable takeover target. SanDisk's chairman and CEO, Eli Harari, said last month that the $26-a-share bid from Samsung was "opportunistically timed at the trough of an industry-wide downturn."