In another surprise acquisition in the Silicon Valley, SK Hynix has announced that it will be acquiring Intel’s NAND flash (SSD) business for a considerable $9 billion (US). This includes the SSD, NAND component, and wafer businesses as well as the Dalian NAND memory foundry in China.
However, Intel will retain its 3D XPoint based Optane business developed in tandem with Micron, and continue to invest transaction proceeds in long-term growth priorities.
The approval from the various regulatory authorities is expected to come by the end of 2021, after which SK Hynix will take over Intel’s NAND SSD business, including the associated IPs and employees, plus the Dalian facility located in China.
The payment for the acquisition will come in two tranches, with an advance of $7 billion, giving Hynix access to the above-mentioned assets. The remaining $2 billion will come in 2025 which will transfer the remaining IP related to NAND flash manufacture, wafer design, employees, and the Dalian fab workforce. Till then, the Dalian Facility and its related IP and wafers will continue to contribute to Intel’s overall revenue.
For the first half of 2021, Intel’s NAND business represented approx. US$2.8 billion of Intel’s NSG (Non-volatile Memory Solutions Group) revenue, contributing around $600 million to NSG operating income.
After the modem and networking business, this is the second primary business Intel has sold in recent years. It appears that the company wants to focus more and more resources on its microprocessor design and foundry Divisions.