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Sanyo to sell semicon fab

Posted: 20 Mar 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Sanyo Electric? semiconductor? semicon? Sanyo Evolution Project? Sanyo Semiconductor?

Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd will sell its semiconductor operations as part of a restructuring plan, according to reports circulated in Japan last week. Responding to reports, Sanyo said it is considering various possibilities but has yet to settle on a final restructuring plan.

The sale of Sanyo's semiconductor business is nevertheless considered likely ever since the company announced a three-year restructuring plan in July 2005.

Sanyo's chip operations have struggled since a severe earthquake in October 2004 heavily damaged its main semiconductor fab. It reported two consecutive annual losses, and the current fiscal year is also expected to end in the red.

Under the restructuring initiative dubbed the Sanyo Evolution Project, Sanyo has squeezed 12 units into three core businesses: industry/commercial systems, power solution and personal mobile.

Its semiconductor business was excluded in the core business plan and positioned as one of the units to be restructured. Home appliances, audio-video and financial businesses were also excluded from its core businesses.

Sanyo spun off its semiconductor operation into a separate company named Sanyo Semiconductor Co. Ltd last July. The plan was to quickly make it an independent company.

Sanyo Semiconductor had sales of $1.7 billion in its last fiscal year ending in March 2006. Its product portfolio includes power semiconductors and mixed-signal chips, but it does not own advanced process lines. The chip units lost money in its last fiscal year, but expect to generate a profit during the fiscal year that ends March 31.

Sanyo executives plan to invite bids for the semiconductor unit. Bids are expected to top about $852 million, sources said.

- Yoshiko Hara
EE Times

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