The European Union today approved SK Hynix’s US$9 billion acquisition of Intel’s flash memory business, expected to conclude by next year. In a statement earlier today, the European Commission announced that it has approved SK Hynix’s acquisition of Intel’s flash memory business. The takeover has already been approved by the US government and is presently awaiting approval from the British and Chinese governments.
If the transaction is approved by the remaining regulatory authorities, it will make SK Hynix the second-largest NAND memory manufacturer after Samsung. By the end of 2020, the latter accounted for nearly 33% of the overall NAND market, followed by Kioxia and Western Digital at 19.5% and 14.4%, respectively. Hynix was responsible for 11.3% and Intel for 8.6% of the flash memory market. After the merger, the South Korean-based NAND manufacturer will jump past both Kioxia and WD to gain an overall market share of approximately 20%.
This acquisition didn’t come for SK Hynix. It had to pay a whopping $US 9 billion for Intel’s flash memory business as the latter fine-tunes its focus on processors and the accompanying foundry business. According to the agreement between the two parties, Hynix will pay Intel $7 billion during the first phase of the deal while the rest will be paid by March 2025. SK Hynix will be taking over Intel’s factory in Dalian, China by the end of 2021, by when the formalities are expected to have been sorted out.
The company expects to triple its flash-memory revenue in the coming years following the acquisition, thanks to the use of advanced QLC-based SSDs that Intel started selling in 2020. PLC-based NAND drives are also in the pipeline with an aim to completely replace