(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko

Broadcom and private equity firm Silver Lake have partnered on a $17.9 billion offer for the semiconductor unit of Japan's Toshiba Corp., according to the Nikkei business daily. At least 10 other suitors are circling the business ― both strategics and financials ― with Toshiba reportedly wanting to sign a deal before its annual shareholder meeting in June.

History: Silver Lake currently holds around a 0.4% stake in Broadcom, related to an earlier investment in Avago Technologies (which then bought Broadcom for $37 billion, but kept the target's name). Actually it was Silver Lake's second investment in Avago, having helped form the original company via the purchase of Agilent's chip business and then exiting after an IPO. Yes, Silver Lake double-dipped the chip.

Bottom line: Toshiba is selling its chip biz, in large part, to help cover write-offs from its Westinghouse nuclear unit, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this week.

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