UPDATE 1-Micron up on speculation of Qimonda asset buy

Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:50pm EDT

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(Adds Qimonda, Micron responses)

NEW YORK, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Shares of memory chip maker Micron Technology Inc MU.N rose 10 percent on Thursday as investors speculated that it was poised to buy chip-making factories from Qimonda AG QI.N, an analyst said.

Micron stock were up 44 cents at $4.80 in afternoon trade on the New York Stock Exchange on rumors that it was ready to buy assets from the loss-making Qimonda for a reasonable price. Qimonda's U.S. shares fell 19 cents, or 9 percent, to $1.87.

Qimonda, whose parent company is Infineon Technologies AG (IFXGn.DE) of Germany, declined to comment, as did Micron. Infineon was not immediately available for comment.

American Technology Research analyst Doug Freedman said the deal, which is expected to involve Micron buying a Qimonda factory in Taiwan and another in Virginia, could help ease price pressure in the hugely competitive memory chip space.

"People think there could be a deal between Micron, Qimonda and Infineon," said Freedman. "If you remove a competitor from the market place, it's viewed as positive."

On Tuesday shares of Infineon had risen on speculation that it had found a buyer for Qimonda. The stock closed down 1.9 percent in Germany on Thursday. (Reporting by Sinead Carew in New York and Georgina Prodhan in London; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Gerald E. McCormick)

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