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Report: Shareholders mull Hynix stake sell

Posted: 02 Oct 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:KEB stake sell? downturn memory? shareholder chipmaker?

The Korea Exchange Bank (KEB), the single largest shareholder of Hynix Semiconductor Inc., plans to sell its combined 36 percent stake that it holds with eight other companies in the chip maker, according to Reuters.

The stake is worth $2.7 billion, according to the report. It's unclear who will buy that stake. If or when the sale goes through, a potential buyer could gain control over Hynix.

According to the reports, KEB owns about 8.2 percent of Hynix. Other shareholders include the Korea Development Bank, Woori Bank, Shinhan Bank and Kookmin Bank.

Hynix has been hit hard by the memory downturn. Losses are mounting for the Korean DRAM and NAND flash supplier.

Hynix is also seeking to generate cash amid losses. Hit by the memory downturn, Hynix recently reported revenues of 1.86 trillion won ($1.82 billion) for the quarter, up 16 percent from the previous quarter. Net loss for the quarter amounted to 711 billion won ($697.5 million). This compares a net profit of 213.5 billion won a year earlier. Hynix posted a loss of 675 billion won ($677.4 million) in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, Hynix also plans to shut down some fab to help its bottom line. It recently announced plans to accelerate the retirement of its 200mm fabs, reducing overall manufacturing capacity by 30 percent.

But amid large losses and a memory downturn, Hynix has also recently announced the grand opening of its new, 300mm NAND fab in Korea, with initial production slated for September.

Seeking to generate cash, loss-ridden Hynix recently said it plans to sell a small stake in its Chinese joint fab venture to Numonyx B.V. for $100 million, according to reports.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

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