It appears to be the season of acquisitions. In the past month or so, we have seen Nvidia acquire ARM for $40 billion, Verzion buying Tracfone for $6 billion, and Microsoft purchasing ZeniMax Media for $7.5 billion. Another item to add to this list today is Intel which has decided to sell its NAND memory and storage business to South Korea-based SK Hynix for a sum of $9 billion.
For those unaware, SK Hynix is a semiconductor supplier offering DRAM and flash memory chips as well as enterprise SSDs. It ranks second on the list of biggest chipmakers and third on semiconductor companies respectively. Now it plans to further improve its offerings by acquiring some of Intel's technologies and solutions.
It is important to note that Intel will retain its Optane business, which it announced back in 2017. However, the NAND SSD, NAND component and wafer, and the Dalian NAND manufacturing business in China is being sold to the Korean firm.
Following regulatory approval in late 2021, the first payment of $7 billion will be made after which all the aforementioned businesses and IP will become the property of SK Hynix. Intel will continue its manufacturing process as usual until 2025, when the deal is officially expected to close and the remaining $2 billion are paid.
Seok-Hee Lee, CEO of SK Hynix had the following to say about the transaction:
I am pleased to see SK hynix and Intel's NAND division, which have led the NAND flash technology innovation, work to build the new future together. By taking each other's strengths and technologies, SK hynix will proactively respond to various needs from customers and optimize our business structure, expanding our innovative portfolio in the NAND flash market segment, which will be comparable with what we achieved in DRAM.
SK Hynix plans to augment and improve its own enterprise SSD portfolio using Intel's technology and solutions. On the other hand, Intel plans to use the monetary proceeds from this acquisition for the growth of its long-term endeavors such as AI and 5G.