Apple is “in talks” about taking a multibillion dollar stake in Japan’s Toshiba, according to a Bloomberg report on Thursday.
The iPhone maker is reportedly discussing a deal that would see it put $US3 billion (£2.3 billion) towards Bain Capital’s bid for Toshiba’s memory chips business.
Apple was reported to be interested in joining the Toshiba buying consortium on August 30 but this is believed to be the first time a figure has been floated regarding Apple’s contribution.
Apple uses Toshiba’s flash memory in its iPhones and iPods. Taking a stake in Toshiba’s memory chips business could give it a more reliable supply and enable it to become less dependent on rival Samsung, Bloomberg reports.
Bain Capital has already received support from Dell, Seagate, and SK Hynix, according to Bloomberg.
Toshiba and Bain are looking to reach a final agreement on the deal this month, according to people familiar with the matter that were cited by Bloomberg.
If the deal goes through then it may become Apple’s largest deal to date. The Cupertino-headquartered company acquired the Beats Electronics headphone business for $US3 billion.
Bain Capital isn’t the only interested buyer. Western Digital, one of Apple’s own suppliers, has also tried to buy Toshiba’s memory chips business with support from KKR. Bloomberg reports that Apple’s contribution could help swing the deal in Bain’s favour.
Toshiba is selling its memory chips business to help pay for an expensive move into the US nuclear business, according to Bloomberg.
Apple has a policy of not commenting on rumours and speculation.