PCR Five for Friday (29/09/2017)

Five for Friday is a weekly feature to give a brief roundup of our top five stories from the week that you might have missed. Think we left anything out? Let us know your favourite stories of the week by pinging us a tweet @pcr_online.

Toshiba signs $18 billion deal with Bain-Apple consortium

The bidding war can come to an end. After seven months of negotiations, lawsuits, twists and turns, Toshiba bosses can breathe a slight sigh of relief. Penning an $18 billion deal, Toshiba has paved the way for a consortium led by Bain Capital and Apple to take over its memory unit.

The deal looked like it was done last week but Apple demanded new terms at the last minute sparking doubt that the deal would be complete. The consortium also includes SK Hynix, as well as Dell, Seagate Technology and Kingston Technology.

Huge UK tech deal to be derailed by China fears?

Hertfordshire-based chipmaker Imagination Technologies Group has announced that it is set to sell itself to a private equity firm backed by the Chinese government called Canyon Bridge. 

The deal, valued at £550 million ($742.5 million) or 182 pence per share, is at a premium of over 40 per cent. Its timing may come as something of a shock, considering the company’s ongoing dispute with Apple that has seen its share price go into free fall. Prior to Apple’s admission that it may dump Imagination’s GPU tech, the British firm’s price was significantly higher than even the premium rate that the Canyon Bridge group has settled on, at 268.75p per share. Both valuations are greatly reduced from Imagination’s peak 2012 price of 712.5 pence per share that saw the company sitting at close to £2 billion.

In spite of the lucrative acquisition, critics have argued that the company should not be allowed to be sold to a group effectively funded by the Chinese government. Speaking to the Daily Mail, former MI6 deputy head Nigel Inkster has said that the deal "could put UK security at risk" due to the UK government’s lack of a clear policy on China. 

iPhone component costs are higher than ever before

When Apple announced that it was bringing out a £1,000 phone, the world raised an eyebrow. Some corners questioned if the high-end cost would deter buyers and only time will tell. What we know now, is that consumers are not alone in having to fork out more money for the latest devices. Apple is being hit in the pocket as well.

According to research firm IHS Markit the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus – which retail between £649 and £799 – will cost Apple $247.51 and $288.08 respectively in raw materials. That is around $10 more per phone than it cost Apple to produce the 7 and 7 Plus devices.

Jailed Samsung boss Jay Y Lee launches appeal

Disgraced Samsung vice chairman Jay Y Lee has launched an appeal against his five-year jail term for a string of corruption offences. Last month, Lee was convicted of bribing former president Park Geun-hye to strengthen his control over Samsung. The conviction is part of a wider corruption investigation into Park, who herself faces conviction before the end of the year.

Things could have been worse for the tycoon as prosecutors campaigned for a 12-year sentence. Yet despite the lesser sentence South Korea’s third-richest man, Lee has now confirmed that he will be launching an appeal the decision and maintains his innocence.

Is investment in tech giants about to dry up?

The bubble that has lifted tech stocks to lofty new heights looks like it may be about to pop. Share prices in tech giants such as Facebook, Microsoft and Google’s parent company Alphabet all took a sharp tumble yesterday, increasing fears that investors may have placed their last chips in the tech industry.

Facebook was the worst affected, as its stock price plummet by 4.6 per cent eliminating nearly $20 billion of its market value and representing its worst day in nearly a year. Meanwhile other tech giants didn’t fair much better. Microsoft, Apple and Alphabet all lost more than 1 per cent off their share pieces.

Investment in the tech sector over the past 24 months has seen the S&P 500 index rise by 23 per cent in 2017, largely due to the big players. However there are now growing concerns that the tech industry has had its day in the sun with a quarter of the 68 technology stocks that make up the index recording recent drops of 10 per cent or more.

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