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Report: Micron preps to buyout Qimonda

Posted: 19 Nov 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:memory? DRAM? chip vendor?

If German publication Wirtschaftswoche is correct, memory chip vendor Micron Technology has sought an option to take over competitor Qimonda AG, along with the acquisition of Qimonda's stake in the Inotera Memories Inc. joint venture (JV).

According to EE Times, Micron in mid-October has bought Qimonda's 35.6 percent stake in Inotera, the latter being a JV manufacturing with DRAM manufacturer Nanya. For the holding, Micron pays $400 million in two tranches. The first part of 50 percent has already been paid.

The German magazine claimed it has been informed that the deal has an option to take over the remaining 77-percent stake of Qimonda, which Infineon is still holding. Infineon repeatedly has committed to sell off this stake by mid-February 2009. In case it won't find any suitors, it will pay it as a property dividend to its shareholders. The report is in line with earlier speculations on Micron's intentions toward Qimonda.

According to Wirtschaftswoche, Qimonda has received or will receive the second tranche of the Inotera sales price in mid-November. Thus, Qimonda will remain solvent for the time it needs for the restructuring it has announced in mid-October. In return, Micron has gotten an option to take over the then slimmed-down Qimonda. In addition, the price for Qimonda's Inotera stake will be set off by still owner Infineon against the price to take over Qimonda entirely. The magazine quoted an unnamed Infineon supervisory board member saying that some facts argue for this structure of the deal.

However, at a stock price of only $0.14, meanwhile Qimonda's market capitalization is extremely low, perhaps so low that Infineon would have to give away Qimonda to an investor.

Officially, Qimonda as well as Infineon declined to comment. "I am surprised," a Qimonda spokesman said. Peter Bauer, CEO, Infineon recently has recognized that the company is in sales negotiations with some suitors being "between one and five."

A possible Qimonda takeover would not be the only osculation point for Micron and Infineon. Both firms recently have announced a strategic cooperation to develop media-rich SIM cards for mobile handsets.

- Christoph Hammerschmidt
EE Times Europe





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