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Apple & Bain complete $18B acquisition of Toshiba memory chip unit

The purchase of beleaguered Toshiba's memory group, long in limbo, is now complete, with Apple joining Bain, Dell, Seagate, and others to seal the deal.

The deal's completion, reported by Reuters, puts a manufacturer of NAND flash memory used in Apple devices in new hands. The consortium, led by Bain Capital, also includes SK Hynix, Dell Technologies, Seagate Technology and Kingston Technology; Toshiba will retain 40 percent of the unit.

The Chinese government approved the deal last month, clearing the final major hurdle.

Toshiba sold the unit in order to stave off crisis following the failure of its Westinghouse subsidiary; other bidders included longtime Apple partner Foxconn as well as Western Digital. At one point in mid-2017, Apple and Dell were part of a consortium with Foxconn in a bid for the business, but that group lost out to Bain.

It's not known how much Apple has invested, although reports last fall put the figure at as high as $3 billion.

The purchase will give Apple readier access to NAND chips, while also continuing to diversify its supply chain, as it has already been doing with both cameras and screens for its 2018 iPhone line.