A Japanese government-backed fund and policy bank are considering a joint bid with Broadcom for Toshiba's semiconductor business, a move that would vault the U.S. chipmaker into the lead to buy the prized unit, the Asahi newspaper said on Wednesday.
A bid by Innovation Network Corp of Japan and the Development Bank of Japan with Broadcom would appear to be aimed at preventing Toshiba's chip technology from going to rivals in China or South Korea, the Asahi said, citing an unidentified source.
INCJ Chairman Toshiyuki Shiga said on Tuesday the fund was looking at the chip auction although it had not participated in the first round of bidding.
People familiar with the matter have told Reuters INCJ might invest in the business as a minority partner - a move that would help the government prevent a sale to bidders it deems risky to national security.
INCJ did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside business hours.