December 5, 2007 / 2:37 AM / 10 years ago

Samsung Elec denies it seeks to buy Micron unit

SEOUL, Dec 5 (Reuters) - South Korea's Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) on Wednesday denied a local media report that it is considering buying U.S. chip maker Micron Technology's MU.N image sensor business.

The Maeil Business Newspaper reported that Samsung, the world's top maker of memory chips, was considering acquiring the business, which makes image sensors used in digital cameras.

A Samsung spokeswoman said the report was "groundless." Samsung also issued an official report denying the newspaper article.

Officials at Micron could not be immediately reached.

Boosting the company's non-memory business is one of the major priorities at Samsung, whose memory chip business is mired in oversupply and steep price drops.

At a conference last week, top Samsung officials reiterated the company's intention to "aggressively expand" its scope and size in the non-memory sector in the next few years.

Micron is the largest U.S. maker of memory chips, but has also been working to reduce its reliance on the memory market.

Samsung said in October it had acquired an Israeli image sensor design firm, its first foreign acquisition in the semiconductor area since 1997.

Samsung trails sector leader Micron in the world's complementary metal oxide semiconductors (CMOS) image sensor market.

South Korea's Hynix Semiconductor (000660.KS), the world's second-biggest maker of memory chips, has also announced its intention to expand its non-memory business and enter the image sensor market.

Shares in Samsung were up 0.7 percent at 579,000 won at 0230 GMT, compared with the wider market's .KS11 0.18 percent rise.

Reporting by Marie-France Han; Editing by Sei Chong

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