The Wall Street Journal: Micron, Western Digital explore deals to buy Japanese chip maker Kioxia

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Micron Technology Inc.

 and Western Digital Corp.

 are each exploring a potential deal for Kioxia Holdings Corp. that could value the Japanese semiconductor company at around $30 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, as a global scramble for memory chips used in smartphones and other devices heats up.

A deal for Kioxia , controlled by private-equity firm Bain Capital, isn’t guaranteed, and it isn’t clear how one might be structured. Should a deal come together, it could be finalized later this spring, some of the people said.

Also see: Micron defends ‘disciplined’ capital spending amid chip shortage

The Tokyo-based company had been planning an initial public offering before shelving it in late September, citing the coronavirus pandemic and market volatility. An IPO later this year is still a possibility should the company fail to reach agreement on a deal with one of the suitors, the people said.

Kioxia, formerly part of Toshiba Corp. and known as Toshiba Memory, was purchased in 2018 by a group led by Bain that included Apple Inc. 
 Dell Technologies Inc.

 , Kingston Technology Co. and Seagate Technology PLC
 in a deal worth around $18 billion. Toshiba Corp.

retained a 40% stake in the business, which was renamed Kioxia the following year.

An expanded version of this report appears on

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