South Korea's SK Hynix Inc said it had completed the first phase of its acquisition of Intel Corp's NAND flash memory chip business, after it received regulatory nods from eight countries including China.
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In exchange, SK Hynix will pay $7 billion out of the deal's total $9 billion price tag, the world's second-largest memory chip maker said in a statement on Thursday.
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The deal, signed in 2020, will allow Intel to focus on its smaller but more lucrative Optane memory business. For SK Hynix, it is the biggest acquisition ever as it seeks to boost its capacity to build NAND chips, used to store data in smartphones and data centre servers.
"This acquisition will present a paradigm shifting moment for SK Hynix's NAND flash business to enter the global top tier level," said Park Jung-ho, vice chairman and co-CEO of SK Hynix.
A SK Hynix subsidiary called Solidigm, headquartered in San Jose, California, United States, will manage the newly acquired NAND solid-state drive (SSD) business.
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SK Hynix co-CEO Lee Seok-hee will be appointed executive chairman of Solidigm, while Rob Crooke, former senior vice president of Intel, will be appointed CEO of Solidigm, SK Hynix said in the statement.
The second phase of the deal is expected to close in or after March 2025 along with the payment of the remaining $2 billion, and will include SK Hynix's acquisition of Intel's remaining assets in the NAND business including intellectual property and workforce, the statement added.