Japan fund and firms aim to acquire Renesas for $2.6 billion: Nikkei

TOKYO Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:09am EDT

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TOKYO (Reuters) - A Japan government fund is expected to partner with about 10 companies in hopes of buying the struggling chipmaker Renesas Electronics Corp (6723.T) in a 200 billion yen ($2.55 billion) deal, the Nikkei business daily said.

The taxpayer-funded Innovation Network Corp plans to invest 150 billion yen to acquire two-thirds of Renesas' shares on a voting rights basis, the Japanese newspaper said on Saturday, after reporting the principles of the plan last month.

A consortium of Japanese companies including Canon Inc (7751.T), Denso Corp (6902.T), Honda Motor Co (7267.T), Nikon Corp (7731.T), Nissan Motor Co (7201.T), Panasonic Corp (6752.T), Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) and Yaskawa Electric Corp (6506.T), are also expected to invest a total of nearly 50 billion yen, the Nikkei said.

German industrial group Robert Bosch GmbH ROBG.UL is also considering an investment in the world's fifth-largest chipmaker, the Nikkei added.

Company officials at the Japan firms reported to be in the group were unable to immediately comment.

A Renesas spokesman said the report was not based on information released by the company and that nothing has been decided.

The world's leading manufacturer of microcontroller chips used in cars has been seeking support as a strong yen and fierce competition from the likes of South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co (005930.KS) have lead to years of financial losses.

U.S. private equity firm KKR & Co LP (KKR.N) has also been in talks to buy control of Renesas, but is expected to withdraw that proposal in light of the government fund-lead acquisition plan, the Nikkei said.

KKR officials were unable to immediately comment on the report.

($1 = 78.3550 Japanese yen)

(Reporting by James Topham, Mari Saito, Junko Fujita; Editing by Michael Perry)

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