* Qimonda insolvency lawyer seeks unspecified amount
* Infineon will defend itself "vigorously"
* Infineon will take no provisions
* Shares up 0.7 percent
(Recasts, adds Infineon comments)
By Christoph Steitz and Nicola Leske
FRANKFURT/PARIS, Dec 2 German chipmaker Infineon
(IFXGn.DE) said it would defend itself vigorously against legal
action by the insolvency administrator of Qimonda, its former
memory chip unit, seeking an unspecified payment.
"We are firmly convinced that we have done nothing wrong,"
an Infineon spokesman said on Thursday, adding that the company
would defend itself against this action and pursue all avenues
of legal proceedings.
The spokesman also said Infineon would not take any
provisions except for legal costs, which would have a negligible
impact on Infineon's balance sheet.
Qimonda collapsed in 2009 as chip prices plunged and then
filed for insolvency after failing to hammer out details of a
rescue package in time.
"The (legal) action asserts that, in connection with the
carve-out of the memory business to Qimonda AG, Infineon
utilised a previously formed shell company and 'economically
re-established' this company through the transfer of the memory
business," Infineon said in a statement earlier on Thursday.
"When a shell company is created the register checks whether
it has sufficient capital, once that shell company actually
starts operations the register reviews the capital base,"
Infineon's legal expert Cornelius Simons said on a conference
call, referring to rules on company registrations.
Infineon registered the shell company in 2004 and in 2006
turned it into an operational business -- Qimonda -- with its
memory chip operations.
"The formalities took longer than planned but if the
intended purpose of the shell company is clear from the
beginning, then a review is usually not necessary," Simons said,
adding that all parties involved at the time had agreed that a
re-examination was not required.
However, the insolvency administrator's legal action claims
that Infineon was required to provide the company register with
a declaration and is obliged to refund to Qimonda the difference
between Qimonda's assets at the time of insolvency and its
equity capital, Infineon said.
Simons said that proceedings could take four years or longer
and added that in theory the action could result in a large
payment for Infineon but that it was highly unlikely it would
come to that.
A spokesman for insolvency administrator Michael Jaffe said
he had to pursue all options to meet the demands of Qimonda's
(Editing by Jane Merriman)