On October 20, SK Hynix officially announced that it would acquire Intel’s NAND flash memory and storage business for US$9 billion (approximately RMB 60.1 billion), and has signed an acquisition agreement with Intel. The deal includes Intel’s SSDs, NAND components, wafers, and Fab 68, its flash memory factory in Dalian, China.
However, Intel said it will continue to retain the Optane business and IP, and 3D XPoint will not be part of the sale to SK Hynix.
According to the statement, the transaction is also subject to the approval of various regulatory agencies, and the transaction is expected to be completed before the end of 2021.
Once permission is granted, the transaction will proceed in two phases. In the first stage, SK Hynix paid US$7 billion to acquire the NAND SSD business (including NAND SSD-related intellectual property rights and employees) and the Dalian factory from Intel. In the second phase, which is expected to take place in March 2025, SK Hynix will pay US$2 billion to acquire the remaining related assets from Intel, including intellectual property related to the production and design of NAND flash memory wafers, R&D personnel, and employees of the Dalian factory.
It is understood that Intel has indicated that it is seeking to sell part of the storage business at several financial report legal person briefings.
Previously, Intel’s NAND flash memory business and Dalian’s wafer fab had been rumored to be interested in selling to Yangtze Memory, but it seems that due to the Sino-US trade conflict, it was unable to obtain the consent of US regulators.
After selling its NAND storage business, Intel said it plans to invest the money in artificial intelligence, 5G, autonomous driving and other fields.
At present, Samsung is the leader in the field of NAND flash memory, with a global market share of about 31.4%, while SK Hynix has 11.7%, Intel has 11.5%, and the combination of the two has about 23.2%. It has narrowed the share gap with Samsung.