Western Digital, Kioxia revive merger talks with flash memory demand sinking

Memory chip maker Western Digital (WDC.O) and Japan’s Kioxia Holdings are in advanced talks for a possible merger which will involve a dual-listing, Bloomberg News reported on Friday.

A combined Kioxia-Western Digital would control a third of the NAND flash market, putting it on par with South Korea’s Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) .

In Japan, the two companies jointly produce NAND chips, which don’t need power to retain data and are used in smartphones, TVs, data centre servers and public announcement display panels.

Under the plan being discussed, Western Digital would spin off its flash business and merge it with Kioxia, creating a publicly traded company in the United States, Bloomberg said citing people familiar with the matter, adding that the company would also plan a second stock listing in Japan.

Toshiba (6502.T), owns about 40.6% of Kioxia.

Western Digital and Kioxia did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

The announcement of the combined company is expected in the next few months, according to the report.

Kioxia, one of the biggest producers globally of flash memory and solid-state storage, is a key supplier to Western Digital. The two companies were in talks for a possible $20 billion stock merger in 2021 but they reached a standstill.