No EU tools to save Qimonda, commissioner tells paper

BERLIN Tue Feb 3, 2009 4:58am EST

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BERLIN Feb 3 (Reuters) - European Union Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen sees no chance to save Germany's insolvent chip maker Qimonda QMNDQ.PK with the tools available to the EU, he said in a newspaper interview on Tuesday.

"Nobody can save a company whose owner does not want to save it," he told Saechsische Zeitung, a daily published in the Saxony state capital Dresden, where Qimonda's main European site is located.

Saxony's Economy Minister Thomas Jurk had previously asked for EU help for the European chip industry.

"If a company no longer believes in a location, then the die is cast in a free market economy," Verheugen told the paper, adding that in general, public subsidies must not be spent in order to bail out companies.

On Tuesday, employees of Qimonda in Dresden are planning to stage a demonstration calling for a rescue of the company which filed for insolvency in January, after it said a 325 million euro ($418 million) rescue attempt by Saxony, parent company Infineon (IFXGn.DE) and a group of banks had not come in time. [ID:nLN168875]

Shares in Infineon were up 0.8 percent at 0943 GMT, while Germany's top-30 DAX index .GDAXI was up 0.2 percent.

Insolvency administrator Michael Jaffe has said Qimonda -- the world's fourth-biggest maker of DRAM chips -- required a strong financial investor to come up with a sustainable solution. According to a works council official the company has until the end of March to find an investor. (Reporting by Carsten Lietz; Editing by David Holmes)

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