According to a source familiar with the matter at hand, Western Digital Corp is in advanced talks for a potential $20 billion stock merger with Japanese chipmaker and partner Kioxia Holdings Corp.
The talks could potentially conclude in an agreement as early as mid-September in the event of which David Goeckeler, Western Digital’s CEO would run the combined firm, said the source on the condition of anonymity given the confidentiality of the matter.
With the news reaching the market, Western Digital’s shares rose by 15% and closed by 7.8%.
According to market research firm TrendForce, the potential merger would have market share equal to market leader Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.
Should Kioxia fail to reach a deal with Western Digital, it could consider an IPO, said the source.
According to Toshiba’s 2020 annual report, it has a 40.6% stake in Kioxia. Toshiba’s shares were flat on Thursday in early trade.
When asked to respond to requests for comments, Kioxia said it does not comment on market rumors or speculation and said it was considering appropriate timing for an IPO.
Western Digital did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In Japan, the two companies jointly produce NAND chips, which don’t need power to retain data and are used in smartphones, TVs, servers and public announcement display panels.
A Western Digital-Kioxia merger would further consolidate the industry after Hynix agreed to buy Intel’s NAND business for $9 billion last year, a deal that is awaiting anti-trust clearance.