I think Intel may have the best motivation to buy to beef up its joint venture with Micron.
Tablet -> more NAND, less Intel processor. Intel can see this and doubling down its investment in IM Flash by buying SNDK will be in the right direction.
IM Flash -> Does not quite have the scale or technology to be the low cost leader for commodity product. Intel management is probably under pressure from its BOD to decide to go all in or get out. Investment in SNDK could buy out Toshiba portion of the JV (then Toshiba will have to start paying licensing fee) and SNDK drives fab capacity growth in IM Flash.
Eli leaving -> Retire to have more time with family is fine, but why not stay on board of directors? He wants a clean break. Samsung is too cheap to pay what SNDK is worth, AAPL is not going to get into chip making business. Micron has its IP and probably want to drive SNDK R&D direction going forward, and that would not allow Eli to stay.
These speculations are as as plausible / silly as any other...